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Posted on  

August 12, 2002

Ethanol plant festivities begin


Glacial Lakes Energy kicked off a weekend of festivities marking the opening of its new ethanol plant Thursday morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony along with receiving the first loads of corn to the plant.

The events were the start of a weekend that will see Glacial Lakes Energy celebrate the grand opening of the ethanol facility with a program and tours slated for Sunday.

Thursday, representatives of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce joined city officials, plant staff and management and members of the groups that own the plant in holding the event. A large group of people turned out to join in the early celebration.

As Glacial Lakes Energy board members held the ceremonial ribbon, Board Chairman Randy Frederick did the cutting to a loud round of applause.

When it fires up in about two weeks, the plant will have the capacity to produce 40 million gallons of ethanol a year, consuming nearly 15 million bushels of locally-grown corn in the process.

When Glacial Lakes Corn Processors member Alan Kannas of Castlewood passed over the scales of the grain receiving building with 450 bushels, it marked the first load of corn to come into the new plant.

"It was a great celebration," said Tom Branhan, general manager of the plant.

Glacial Lakes Energy is owned by the producer-owned cooperative along with a group of investors known as Glacial Lakes Capital.

Branhan said 10 names were drawn at the co-op's annual meeting in January to determine who would bring in the first loads of corn. Thursday, numbers 1 through 10 were thrown into a hat and each drew one out to determine their position in line.

Along with Kannas, the other members drawn for the first loads of corn included Larry Dahl, Roger Fritz, Marlow Lamb, Gerald Larson, Fay Florey, Clayton Larson, Al Kasperson and Cindy Frederick.

Each member of Glacial Corn Processors owns shares in the plant and must deliver one bushel of corn for each share. The minimum number of shares was 5,000, Branhan said.



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