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Posted on  

February 22, 2002

Big River Resources Begins Meetings Today

Informational meetings begin today for potential investors in a proposed ethanol plant in Illinois.

Big River Resources, a cooperative of area grain producers who hope to build a plant near West Burlington or Gladstone, Ill., will hold two meetings today and two more Friday.

South Dakota native Bill Riechers, who has been hired by the group to serve as the equity marketing manager, expects several people will attend the meetings. The group will hand out a prospectus, detailing major features of the proposed venture. A layout of the plant will be shown at the meetings as well as how it is designed to double in size if needed. The meeting also will feature discussions how future uses of ethanol and soydiesel would help the cooperative, Riechers said.

Last year, Riechers helped cooperatives raise money for similar–size ethanol plants in South Dakota and Iowa.

Colorado-based ethanol consultants BBI International recently completed a feasibility study for Big River Resources and is now finalizing a business plan for the group.

The mission of the nonprofit organization is to improve and stabilize the agricultural economic resources of the multi-state region by establishing corn–based renewable fuel, he said.
"We will explain to the investors how they can deliver corn and the type of return they can expect from Big River Resources in annual return," he said.

Some of those options will include:
Paying $500 to become a voting member and receive dividends, as with any cooperative. Buy a deliver–equity status — a minimum of two at $5,000 each. Increments of $5,000 can be added. Commercial or private investors guaranteeing 50,000 bushels of corn or more will see an added 3–cent return per bushel in addition to shared profits.

"The profits go back into the communities in a 50–mile radius," Riechers said.

Competition for building ethanol plants is growing, Riechers said, noting that 100 or more are in the planning stages throughout the United States. He also expects more interest in ethanol plants if proposed federal legislation in the energy and agriculture areas are approved by Congress.

Efforts to bring a value–added project to the area began in the spring when several area farmers incorporated to construct a plant. They chose the area because of the proximity to the Mississippi River and to one of the nation's most productive growing regions, Riechers said.


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