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New ethanol plant owners granted license to start buying corn

The Public Service Commission has given its okay for the developers of a new ethanol plant near Spiritwood to start buying corn.

Dakota Spirit Ag Energy is building an ethanol plant at the site of the Spiritwood energy park, near Jamestown. It will use steam from Great River Energy’s new coal-fired power plant next door to help produce the ethanol. It received a roving grain buyer’s license from the PSC to do that.

"Dakota Spirit anticipates to begin contracting corn this summer," said Commissioner Randy Christmann. "They anticipate to contract for 5 million bushels of corn."

Dakota Spirit has posted a $430,000 surety bond. But Christmann says that surety bond amount points up a need to rework how much of a bond a roving grain buyer has to have. 

"The $430,000 surety bond jumped out at me as being questionably too low," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "Low for a 5 million bushel facility."

Commissioners plan to take a look at the issue later.

Dakota Spirit Ag Energy says the ethanol plant should be completed by April of 2015. Christmann says the company plans to have a permanent storage facility built at Spiritwood.

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