A new biofuel plant in Wisconsin will be the states largest ethanol plant, the country's biggest tilapia fish farm, include a biodiesel plant and produce carbon dioxide and corn gluten as by-products. The plant will have a cogeneration facility for all its power, a waste treatment facility and is own water supply. The facility to be located on the site of the former Cargill Malt facility in Jefferson, which closed in October. The project calls for a $200 million investment on the 375 acre site and will employ about 150 people, double that of the malting facility. The company received a conditional use permit on November 28 from the local zoning and planning committees.
Upon completion Jefferson Grain Processors (JPG) will produce 140 million gallons of ethanol per year, making it nearly three times larger than any other ethanol plant in Wisconsin. The biodiesel plant will produce 20 million gallons per year from soybeans, fish waste and animal fats. The by-products of the ethanol production will include 350,000 tones per year of liquid CO2, to be sold to the food industry, and 425,000 tons per year of high protein corn gluten, much of which will be exported to China. The company is also exploring the production of food grade corn oil as part of the process.
A cogeneration unit will generate 55 MW of electricity which will be fueled by either coal or natural gas, based on cost and provide heat for the process units. Sprouting beds that were used in the malting plant will be converted into tanks to raise 8 million pounds per year of fresh tilapia fillets. Fish will be processed on site with the waste being used as feed for the biodiesel plant. The existing grain storage facility will handle nearly 70 million bushels per year of corn, grain and soybeans.
Much of the facility will be housed in existing buildings, with new construction required for the distillation units and the cogeneration facilities. Only 1,100 gpm of water will be required from wells that are permitted at 3,000 gpm. A railroad line will be retained for distribution of products, ensuring that the line will not be abandoned and will be available for other local industries.
Cargill Plant to be Converted to Ethanol Plant and Fish Farm, Jefferson Grain Processors, LLC, Press Release, October 14, 2005
Ethanol plant permit approved, Daily Jefferson County Union, December 1, 2005
Plans for ethanol plant are outlined , Watertown Daily News, November 16, 2005