CLEARFIELD – A new ethanol plant will be operational in Clearfield County in the summer of 2008. What remains to be seen, though, is exactly where the plant will be built.
Stephen Gatto, CEO and president of Massachusetts-based BioEnergy International LLC, said that announcement will be made in the coming weeks after about six sites are examined within the county.
“This is a great project, not just for Clearfield County, but a great project for Pennsylvania,” said Gov. Edward G. Rendell who was in Clearfield County Thursday to make the announcement.
Rendell credited state Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Clearfield County, with bringing the project to the county rather than constructing it in another county or in another state.
“It will be either the largest or the next to largest (ethanol plant) east of the Mississippi, and of course, the first ethanol plant to be built in Pennsylvania,” Rendell said.
The $250 million total project includes a corn-based ethanol plant as well as a pilot project to make ethanol from wood chips, wood fibers, grass clippings and even household waste. The project, currently referred to as the “Clearfield Project,” earned a total of $17.4 million in funding from the commonwealth through a combination of grants, loans and tax credits.
“We expect this project to have a significant economic impact on the region, creating approximately 110 jobs overall,” Gatto said. An additional 300 temporary construction jobs will be created through the project as well.
The 108 million gallon per year plant will sell its product exclusively to Lukoil Americas, provider of petroleum products for Uni-Mart stores, among others.
George said the Clearfield Project brings to $103 million the money invested in Clearfield County under Rendell’s leadership of the state.
Still, George said the plant construction will have effects that reach beyond the county’s borders. “Our governor realizes that Clearfield County’s potential skills and resources are a way of making investments that will pay dividends across the county, the commonwealth and the country.”
The plan is for construction to begin on the plant next year, well ahead of the time line for the construction of the proposed Sunnyside Ethanol LLC plant in Curwensville.