LENA (WIFR) -- This year's corn crop is the largest in our nation's history, and one local ethanol plant is ready to take advantage by transforming more of the local corn crop into fuel for our cars and trucks.
Adkins Energy in Lena produces 50 million gallons of ethanol every year using corn grown by Stateline farmers. What's left over from making ethanol is corn oil which is usually sold to other companies to create bio diesel, but now Adkins has the opportunity to build their own bio-diesel plant thanks to a $500,000 federal grant.
“It’s a perfect mix for our business, the renewable fuels business. The opportunity to produce another renewable fuel that's coming from the same kernel of corn is a great opportunity to fit in to what we do strategically," says Ray Baker, the general manager at Adkins Energy.
The company believes building the new plant will create dozens of temporary construction jobs, but not everyone's excited about the idea. Some around town worry that using more corn as fuel will drive up food prices. Other neighbors say they look forward to a jolt to the town's economy.
"When they did the bins a few years ago, they had a company come in from North Dakota and they were coming in for supplies and it really helped boost our business,” says Matt Strong.
“I think it’s a good deal, jobs around here are kind of scarce. I think it'll help bring new people in here and growing a little bit more," says Jeremy Flynn.
The new plant will cost $4.5 million and the company plans to break ground next week.