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Decision on Project Blackhawk awaited

Officials receive economic update

December 14, 2010
By BILL SHEA Messenger staff writer

Executives planning a cellulosic ethanol plant called Project Blackhawk are expected to announce late this month or early next month where the facility will be built, according to a local economic development official.

''I think we've got a very good chance,'' John Kramer, the president of the Development Corporation of Fort Dodge and Webster County, said Monday.

He told Fort Dodge City Council members and the Webster County Board of Supervisors that the local site for the plant is in the North Central Ag Industrial Park near Barnum. The potential Project Blackhawk site is west of the dormant Tate & Lyle plant, he said.

Project Blackhawk is the creation of DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC. The plant would produce 50 million gallons of ethanol yearly and employ about 70 people.

That cellulosic ethanol plant is one of five prospects that are described as ''hot'' in a development corporation report.

It is one of 75 prospects the group is pursuing.

The list doesn't include the upcoming expansion of the Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. main plant in Fort Dodge, which is scheduled to begin next year and be completed by 2015.

Boehringer Ingelheim plans to invest $19 million in Iowa, with $17.6 million to be spent in Fort Dodge. The company will build three new vaccine research buildings, renovate existing buildings and add 78 new jobs.

''This will be a center for excellence for the companion animal products within that company,'' said Dennis Plautz, the city's director of business affairs and community growth.

In response to a question from Councilman Curt Olson, Kramer said there have been several meetings about trying to bring more stores to Crossroads Mall. But he added that the number of retail chains that want to locate in a mall is dwindling.

Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or



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