South Dakota Company Still Raising Money for Ethanol Plant

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

ONIDA, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota company is still working to raise enough money to build a $150 million ethanol plant just south of Onida.

The Capital Journal ( ) reported that Ringneck Energy LLC CEO Walt Wendland said the company finally has one or two investors willing to give the last piece of equity needed to start construction.

He said it will amount to half of the expected construction and start-up costs and the company hopes to begin construction this summer.

“We need to have about $75 million in equity in order to get our financing,” he said. “We’ve got people lined up to finish that.”

He said the plant will buy 25 million bushels of corn every year and will employ about 40 people. The plant’s main byproduct, distillers grain, will be used as livestock feed.

Having an ethanol plant will help boost the prices to farmers by 10 cents to 15 cents a bushel, said Tim Lukens, manager of Oahe Grain.

Construction on the 80-million-gallon-per-year facility has run into numerous delays due to legal, financial and regulatory hurdles.

Some Onida residents have fought the plant’s location because they fear pollution and health risks. Some opponents of corn ethanol cite government subsidies and studies that show other ethanol sources might make more economic and environmental sense.