DUBOIS – Members of the BioEnergy staff spoke at the Clearfield County Economic Development Corporation’s annual meeting Wednesday at the DuBois Country Club.
Sam McConnell, vice president of business development discussed the path the BioEnergy project has taken, as well as where it is going.
“We’re truly on the verge of going full-scale on this in the coming weeks,” said McConnell.
The project started after BioEnergy entered into a contract with Getty Oil. Part of the deal was that they plant had to locate in Pennsylvania. Through the work of Gov. Edward G. Rendell and state Rep. Camille “Bud” George of Clearfield County, the project then had to be located within Clearfield County.
The plant, a $250 million project, includes $17.4 million from state investments. The package includes a $400,000 grant through the Opportunity Grant Program, $500,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits, $2.5 million in loans and grants from the Infrastructure Development Program and $14 million through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.
The Bionol-BioEnergy ethanol plant will be located in Clearfield Borough at the Clearfield County Technology Park. For the ethanol plant to move there, current businesses in the park will be moved. The corn ethanol plant will employ around 60 people. Their other project at the site, a pilot cellulosic ethanol plant, will employ around 10 people.
The main plant will produce around 100 million gallons of ethanol per year. Once the cellulosic project is commercialized, it is expected to use wood waste to produce ethanol.
McConnell said that final arrangements for the tech park are underway and that they hope for a years end closing on the property, though it will likely come in January. Bid packages will be sent to media outlets in the near future as well.
Once work begins McConnell said it will be around 19 months before ethanol production begins.
“We think we’ll beat that,” said McConnell.
He added that BioEnergy is a destination-based business. He said that BioEnergy looks to locate in areas of need, not where the fuel source is located.
McConnell noted that around 80 percent of the corn used in the main plant will come from the midwest, while the other 20 percent would be harvested locally.
“We’re very pleased and proud to be here,” said McConnell. “We see a day in the future when Clearfield will be of national and international focus.”