A Minnesota company that says it can turn hog, chicken and cow manure into natural gas pure enough to heat homes and run appliances was given a state loan on Thursday to build a $25.5 million plant in Iowa.
Bison Renewable Energy was one of 18 companies to receive state assistance in the past month to create jobs in the state.
The project, to be located near Hull in northwest Iowa, will create 74 jobs. The Iowa Economic Development Board approved tax benefits and a $200,000 loan for the project. The remaining financing to build the plant will come from local government assistance, private financing, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The plant will use a technology developed in Europe, which uses bacteria to break down the manure into commercially usable gas.
The company expects to use the waste from about 1.6 million hogs a year and will produce 5.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas in its second year - enough gas to heat about 70,000 homes for an entire winter.
Three ethanol plants and a biodiesel project were among others to receive state funding.
Since July 2003, state economic development programs have funded 376 projects, creating or retaining more than 30,000 jobs. "That's a phenomenal set of statistics," IDED Director Mike Blouin said. "It's amazing how many folks don't believe it."