Dakota Spirit moves in the right direction, says Mike Clemens of Wimbledon, N.D.

Mike Clemens, a Wimbledon, N.D., farm leader says the news release that the Dakota Spirit ethanol plant, a 65 million gallon per year project for Spiritwood, N.D., has reached some new financial goals is important. Clemens is on the board for Midwest AgEnergy Group, which is working on a project that will include both the Blueflint ethanol plant in Underwood, N.D., and the Spiritwood plant.

“We’re able to come in on budget, and that’s very important in times like we have now,” Clemens says. He says the project will be a big benefit for corn farmers in a 50-mile radius of Jamestown. The $155 million plant is likely to accept corn in the fall of 2014 and will probably start grinding corn and making it into ethanol in the spring of 2015.

The Spiritwood plant will use heat from a nearby Great River Energy’s Spiritwood Station electrical generation plant. This will allow it to meet RFS2 carbon intensity requirements, which is supported by government policies.

Clemens is a former president of the North Dakota Corn Growers and has held leadership posts in the  National Sunflower Association.

 

VERBATIM:

Spiritwood, N.D. — Midwest AgEnergy Group announced today that financing has been realized and

contracts signed to begin project execution of the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery in Stutsman County.

Field construction will start no later than January 2014. The Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery will produce ethanol, distillers grains and fuel-grade corn oil at the Spiritwood Energy Park.

“While our August groundbreaking event was a significant milestone for the 65 million-gallon-per-year biorefinery, we worked very hard this fall on supporting international fund raising by partnering with the CMB Export, LLC Regional Center, a national leader offering EB-5 opportunities to the international market,” said Greg Ridderbusch, president, Midwest AgEnergy Group. The financial advisor for all aspects of the $155 million capital raise to build and start up Dakota Spirit AgEnergy is Cappello Capital Corp.

“This moves us ever closer to an operational biorefinery in the Spiritwood area, one that will benefit the agriculture and energy industries and the local economy,” said Jeff Zueger, chief operating officer, Midwest AgEnergy Group.

The team of Karges-Faulconbridge, Inc., and McGough Construction, respectively, are the engineering and general contractors for the biorefinery. Near term activities include detailed engineering, site preparation and major systems procurement, with full construction operations underway this winter. After facility startup during the first quarter of 2015, it is scheduled for full commercial operations during the second quarter of 2015.

The ethanol biorefinery will have a significant impact on the local economy through the creation of 36 direct jobs, and 275 trade and construction jobs during the construction period. The facility will be located at the Spiritwood Energy Park, where a rail loop and related infrastructure is being developed under the leadership of the Jamestown Stutsman Development Corporation. Road upgrades and water infrastructure development is being pursued in collaboration with Stutsman County and the local water utilities, respectively.

The biorefinery will purchase 23 million bushels of corn annually to produce 65 million gallons of a renewable fuel. The ethanol product from Dakota Spirit AgEnergy has been certified as renewable under the country’s Renewable Fuel Standard 2 (RFS2) administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Another 6,900 tons of fuel-grade corn oil will be marketed for use in making products such as biodiesel. Local agriculture producers will also have access to 198,000 tons of distillers grains to feed livestock.

The ethanol biorefinery will be co-located next to Great River Energy’s Spiritwood Station, a combined heat and power plant. Spiritwood Station will provide process steam to the biorefinery, which eliminates the need for Dakota Spirit AgEnergy to build and operate a boiler. This innovative design also contributes to the plant’s efficiency and ensures ethanol from the facility meets the RFS2 carbon intensity requirements.

“Many stakeholders have worked very hard collaborating with our team to bring the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery plant to the start of construction. We appreciate their support and look forward to realizing value at the intersection of agriculture and energy,” said Ridderbusch.

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