Basehor company gets permits for ethanol plant

Basehor company gets permits for ethanol plant

Ethanex Energy Inc. said Monday that it had received environmental permits needed to begin construction of an ethanol facility in southeast Missouri.

Permits for the 132 million-gallon-per-year ethanol production plant came from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Ethanex said in an announcement. The state body would have to complete a technical review of the plant’s permit application before operations could begin.

Work on the site of the proposed ethanol plant has begun, Ethanex operating officer Bryan Sherbacow said. He said construction of the facility requires debt financing still in negotiation.

The site is adjacent to a corn mill already under construction by SEMO Milling LLC. The two companies have formed a joint venture to build the ethanol plant south of Cape Girardeau.

Sherbacow said SEMO Milling is contributing the corn mill to the joint venture and Ethanex is making a cash contribution. Those assets will provide the equity against which the joint venture plans to borrow the money needed to build the plant, he said.

Chevron Energy Solutions Co., a division of Chevron Corp., will develop and construct the ethanol facility. Sherbacow said its involvement also is important in securing financing on favorable terms.

”Chevron is guaranteeing the whole facility, and so we take that to the bank to get our financing,” Sherbacow said.

Sherbacow said company officials were in ”late stage” talks with prospective lenders in New York about providing the debt financing needed to build the plant. He said the plant would cost about $250 million to build.

Ethanex, based in Basehor, became a publicly traded company by merging earlier this year with an existing business that already was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to the merger, Ethanex had raised $20 million through a private stock offering.

Shares gained 33 cents Monday, closing at $2.50.

”¢Trading in shares of SLS International Inc. has moved to the OTC-Bulletin Board from the American Stock Exchange. The company’s ticker symbol has changed to SLSZ. The stock fell 6 cents, to 14 cents.

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