Orion Ethanol buys facility, assets of Dimmitt Ethanol

by Eric Schroeder
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PRATT, KAS. — Orion Ethanol, a developer of energy related projects, has acquired a corn fructose wet milling facility located in Dimmitt, Texas, from Dimmitt Ethanol, L.P. The transaction includes $2.5 million in cash, a subordinated promissory note of $2.5 million bearing 3.5% annual interest, and 8 million common shares.

Orion said it plans to convert the facility, which previously operated as a corn fructose facility with a grinding capacity of more than 60,000 bus of corn per day, into a fully integrated renewable fuels campus in three phases over the next three years.

As part of the first phase, Orion said it plans to convert the facility into a 60 million gallon per year ethanol plant and 10 million gallon per year edible oil extraction facility. The second and third phases will include adding a 10 million gallon per year cellulose-to-ethanol process, a 12 million gallon per year bio-diesel plant, a 25,000 ton per year yeast plant, and a 60-75 Megawatt wind and biomethane-based electrical generation facility.

In addition to the physical structure, Orion said the acquisition includes approximately 1,200 surrounding acres and a wind lease agreement.

"Dimmitt Ethanol’s wet milling facility is the ideal platform upon which we plan to develop an integrated renewable fuels campus that will include production of cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, biomethane, and wind power," said Patrick Barker, chairman of Orion. "This project will help to horizontally diversify Orion across the energy spectrum, building upon Orion Ethanol’s past success acquiring and developing our 55 million gallon per year dry-mill ethanol plant in Pratt, Kas. Our management team brings over 70 years of combined renewable fuels development experience, including 12 successful plant start ups and involvement in the development of cellulosic ethanol since 1992. We believe this extensive experience will enable us to rapidly and cost-effectively bring this new wet-mill facility on-line, the first step in launching our renewable fuels campus."

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