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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Biodiesel plant comes to Cherokee county

Monday, April 24, 2006

A number of northwest Iowa leaders, including U.S. Congressman Steve King, were present during the announcement made this week at the Cherokee Campus of Western Iowa Tech of a biodiesel plant to be built in Cherokee County,(Photo by Ken Ross)
Soy Energy, LLC announces plans to build production facility

Soy Energy, LLC plans to build, and operate a biodiesel production facility near Marcus. A 37-acre tract of land has been purchased between Marcus and Cleghorn on the Canadian National Rail line.

Soy Energy will produce 30 million gallons per year of biodiesel from soybeans, crude soy oil, corn oil, and animal fats. The facility will use pelletized biomass as the primary source of thermal energy and steam. Soy Energy will bring nearly 50 high paying jobs and significant economic development to Cherokee County and Northwest Iowa. This project is the culmination of three years of discussion, research and study.

The biodiesel industry is experiencing unprecedented growth due to an increasing demand from fleet operators, trucking lines, and marine operators. Restrictions on diesel emissions and the rising cost of petroleum are the key drivers in the growing demand for biodiesel across the US. In addition, the petroleum refining capacity in the United States continues to decline.

According to Charles Sand, Chairman of Soy Energy, LLC the initial cost to construct the plant will be $52 million dollars and it will produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel annually. Sand said, "This will be a state of the art biodiesel production plant and will have a very positive economic impact for Marcus, Cherokee County and Northwest Iowa." Construction will begin in late 2006 with plans to be in production by the end of 2007. Soy Energy plans to add a Soybean Crusher in Phase II of the project at a cost of approximately $35 million bringing the entire project cost to $87 million by 2010. This is a great investment in value added agriculture and biofuel refining. This project will create a significant number of new jobs and tax base in Northwest Iowa bolstering our economy.

As a further cost advantage against competition and as a hedge against the escalating price of natural gas, Soy Energy will use pelletized biomass as the primary source of energy for the plant. The pelletized biomass will be supplied by the Cherokee County Solid Waste, who has been operating a biomass diversion program since 1989.

Soy Energy will have the Renewable Energy Group, (REG) Ralston, Iowa as the technology provider for the facility. The builder of the project will be Todd Sargent & Weitz (TSW).

When completed the 52 million dollar project will generate a $2.5 million dollar payroll and property tax revenue that will give a very positive economic boost to our schools and county as well as a flow of business dollars that will be felt all over northwest Iowa.

A progressive group has assembled to serve as the Soy Energy Board of Directors that includes: Charles Sand, Marcus; Ron Wetherell, Cleghorn; Doug Lansink, Arthur; Chuck Getting, Sanborn; Dave Langel, Le Mars; Dallas Thompson, Kingsley; Shane Habben, Everly; Daryl Haack, Primghar; Darrell Down, Marcus; Steve Leavitt, Ankeny; and Myron Danzer, Ralston.

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