Ethanol plant still in works with plans for plant

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

SOUTH POINT — Plans may not be inked yet, but a multi-million dollar company says it is intent on locating its ethanol plant at The Point industrial park.

McNational Inc., the holding company of McGinnis Inc., and the Gahanna-Based Slane Co., are planning to build its plant — Buckeye Ethanol — on a 60-acre site at the industrial park.

The $150 million plant is in the design phase and the companies are completing the necessary paperwork and permits for the plant’s approval through the Lawrence Economic Development Corp. and other state agencies, said Dan Slane, co-owner of Slane Co.

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It is estimated that construction could begin early next year.

Plans call for the facility to produce more than 100 million barrels of ethanol each year and employ approximately 65 employees. The ethanol will be used as an additive to gasoline, but it will also produce about 300 tons of dried grain for animal feed, which can also be turned into fuel pellets.

Synthetic coal pellets produced from wood chips will power the plant and reclaimed coal fines, a waste product of small particles of coals.

Slane said he feels the plant will be a financial boon to the Tri-State.

“This is going to have enormous financial ramifications. There will be a lot of residual affects,” he said.

The LEDC is in negotiations with Slane and McNational, but they are quick to point out that the plant is not a done deal. Bill Dingus, executive director of the LEDC, said there are many steps that need to be taken before construction is approved.

Dingus said he is hopeful that the company will be able to secure all of the permits to locate at The Point because it will be an asset to the community.

“Many people only look at the number of employees a company brings in, but it’s really a lot more than that,” Dingus said. “If you look at the food service areas and the hotels…there is spin-off from each business we bring in.”