Soy Energy, LLC announced plans this week to build and operate a biodiesel plant between Marcus and Cleghorn in Cherokee County. The 37-acre site has been purchased next to the Canadian National Railroad line.
The plant is expected to produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel fuel annually from soybeans, soy oil, corn oil and animal fats. About 50 new jobs with a $2.5 million payroll and impact expected to be created in Cherokee County.
The biodiesel industry is growing rapidly, with large plant also proposed for Storm Lake. Demand for the fuel from trucking and fleet and marine operations is spurring the growth, along with rising petroleum costs.
The plant is estimated to cost $52 million, with construction to begin late in 2006 and the plant scheduled to be in production by the end of 2007.
The plant plans to gain a competitive advantage by using pelletized biomass produced by Cherokee County Solid Waste as a primary source of energy to run the plant.
"This will be a state of the art biodiesel production plant and will have a very positive economic impact in northwest Iowa," said Charles Sand, chairman of the Soy Energy group.