Ethanol Plant Could be Fueled by Construction Waste

by | Dec 4, 2006

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A proposed $175 million ethanol plant in Des Moines could pump about $20 million into city budgets in the next five years, the Des Moines Register reports. In addition, a business is exploring building a $22 million facility next to the plant to convert construction waste to gas that would power the ethanol plant.

The City Council is expected to approve the proposal from Urbandale-based Vision Fuels for the 110 million-gallon-a-year ethanol plant.

The benefits to Des Moines include:

  • $1.8 million paid to the city for 128 acres.  
  • A minimum taxable value of $41.5 million, generating roughly $1.9 million a year in property taxes.
  • $2.6 million paid by the company to the city to buy more land in the area to expand the industrial park.
  • An additional payment of taxes of $500,000 each of the first three years.
  • The company paying a franchise fee on its natural gas usage for the first three years, estimated to be at least $4.5 million.
  • The creation of at least 45 jobs with a payroll of $2.2 million.
  • The company paying for road infrastructure near the plant.
  • An on-site learning facility, open to the public on a regular basis, to teach about renewable energy and sustainability.

A key point among city leaders is the preliminary partnership between Vision Fuels and a company known as Environmental Reclamation and Recycling which could build a facility to convert construction waste into gas to be used by the ethanol plant. The facility could supply the plant with up to 30 percent of its energy.

“It’s certainly possible to go further” and provide all the power,” said a manager of the recycling company. “It’s just a matter of finding material.”

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