Illinois ethanol plant capitalizing on location

Illinois ethanol plant capitalizing on location

A local business developer is putting his company’s grain elevator and shipping experience to use on a fuel ethanol project in north-central Illinois. Marquis Energy LLC will make use of the adjacent Illinois River and other strategic transportation opportunities, according to President Mark Marquis.

Construction began on the 100 MMgy ethanol plant the last week of September. The plant will be located just north of Hennepin, Ill. The site has barge access to the river, which will be used to ship corn and distillers grains. Marquis has experience in operating country grain elevators, barge terminals, and dry cargo and liquid shipping by rail and barge.

The plant site is served by the Norfolk Southern rail line, according to Marquis. Hennepin is also located near the intersection of Interstates 80 and 39.

Site preparation, which began in July, is nearly complete, according to Marquis Energy spokesman Jeff Peterson. Initial concrete work is starting as Granite Falls, Minn.-based general contractor Fagen Inc. moves on site. ICM Inc. of Colwich, Kan., is providing the process technology for the project.

The ethanol project is a bit unique in that it will be built in two phases. The first phase is a 100 MMgy natural gas-fired ethanol plant, which is expected to begin operation in November 2007. Phase II will expand the plant’s capacity to 200 MMgy and convert the fuel source to coal, which is expected to reduce energy costs. The timeline for the proposed expansion is unclear, Marquis told

The plant will use approximately 72 million bushels of corn per year when both phases are complete.

Marquis Energy and Babcock & Brown, a global investment and advisory firm, signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year to construct, manage and provide investment financing for the project.

Illinois has six ethanol plants in operation. Marquis Energy is the third plant under construction in the state. ”We’re anxious to get to the first day of production,” Marquis said.

Marquis Energy LLC Location: Hennepin, Illinois General contractor: Fagen Inc. Process technology: ICM Inc. Capacity: 100 MMgy Feedstock: corn Ethanol marketer: undeclared Distillers grains marketer: undeclared Carbon dioxide marketer: N/A Broke ground: September 2006

Target start-up date: November 2007

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