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A day to celebrate

By Staff | Sep 23, 2008

Several hundred people turned out to celebrate the opening Green Plains Renewable Energy’s ethanol plant at Superior on Saturday. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

“This has been a long journey for Green Plains Renewable Energy,” Doug Archer, general manager of the GPRE Superior ethanol plant, told several hundred attending the plant’s grand opening Saturday.

“This has been a labor of love,” said Archer. “We really enjoy the relationship we have with the community. We’re here to celebrate ag producers. We’re here to celebrate renewable fuel. We appreciate all the support we get from Estherville and from Spirit Lake. Spirit Lake, Estherville and Superior have all supported us and we appreciate it.”

Kevin Hartkemeyer, general manager of Green Plains Grain, formerly Great Lakes Cooperative which merged with Green Plains earlier this year, noted that Green Plains Grain serves 3,500 customers throughout the region. He told corn producers of the 5-cents-per-bushel premium for those who grow Green Plains Select varieties.

Hartkemeyer concluded by noting that Green Plains Grain is “the only fully integrated seed, farm supply and grain company in northwest Iowa.”

“Green Plains does have a sizable investment in this area between Green Plains Grain and Green Plains Ethanol,” said Wayne Hoovestol, GPRE CEO. “It is an awful lot of money for economic support of the local company.”

Hoovestol used the occasion to announce the pending merger with another company with plants in Illinois and Tennessee which will allow Green Plains to market ethanol with the other companies.