Home Back Issues November 2011 Ethanol project fuels optimism

Ethanol project fuels optimism

| Print |  Email
Articles - November 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

By Dan Cook

1111_EthanolProject
New management hopes to have the former Cascade Grain ethanol plant operational next year.

Seventy jobs may not seem like a lot. But to tiny Clatskanie (population: 1,710) in Columbia County, it’s 70 more people spending money locally who weren’t spending it before.

That’s how many the restarted ethanol plant in Clatskanie will employ once it’s up and running, perhaps as soon as January. Now operating as Cascade Kelly Holdings LLC, the former Cascade Grain project, located on 44 acres at Port Westward, had collapsed into bankruptcy seven months after its 2008 opening, taking with it millions in government subsidies and other investment dollars. The Longview, Wash.-based builder, JH Kelly, bought the assets out of bankruptcy in late 2009, brought on a new, experienced management team to run it, and made various modifications to make it more profitable than its predecessor.

Cascade Kelly has already hired workers to get the once mothballed facility ready to start producing ethanol again. “We felt a dramatic difference in the last couple of months” from their spending locally, Columbia County Commissioner Tony Hyde says.

Hyde thinks the experienced team now operating the plant is the key to the plant’s success.

“The experience level of the people in charge of Cascade Grain was zero,” he says.

Dan Luckett, the new general manager, has operated ethanol plants since 2006. He thinks the plant will surpass its original capacity of 108 million gallons a year by at least 12 million gallons. In addition, modifications to the plant and the production process will yield two new byproducts — corn oil and carbon dioxide — that Cascade Kelly can sell along with the ethanol.

To meet his goal of ramping up production by January, Luckett says the plant still needs “full buy-in from all stakeholders.” The process of negotiating new terms for operation of the facility has already pushed back the reopening about six months. At issue are a renegotiation of some terms of a sublease for the property with PGE; attempting to secure some $5 million in tax credits from the state granted to the original owner; and resolving water quality and road access issues with the Port of St. Helens, which supplies water and controls the roads to the area.

Luckett expects to start pumping out ethanol in the first quarter of  2012.

 

More Articles

Shipping News

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

In 2012 The Dalles, a city of some 14,400 located 75 miles east of Portland and often seen as the poor cousin to adjacent Hood River, completed a massive project to revitalize its dock.


Read more...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


Read more...

Is this employee right?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
081314 thumb employeefeelingsBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

When I say, “Your Employee is Always Right,” I do not mean “right about the facts,” but rather “right about how they feel” and “right about how they want to be led.”


Read more...

Downtime

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.


Read more...

A Taste of Heaven

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Craft beer comes to Mount Angel.


Read more...

Report Card

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Strong public schools shore up the economy, survey respondents say. But local schools demonstrate lackluster performance.


Read more...

Gender Code

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD

Janice Levenhagen-Seeley reprograms tech.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS