“Delivering high quality corn products and customer service from the Great Lakes Region”
Mission statement adopted September 15, 2003
Great Lakes Ethanol, LLC (GLE) was organized as a Michigan limited liability company on May 29, 2003 for the purpose of developing, building, and operating a dry mill ethanol plant in southeastern Michigan.
Jeff Ehlert, Chairman of the Board
Ken Lake, Vice Chairman
Jay Forsyth, Secretary
Wm. Lyn Uphaus, Treasurer
Investment moves Michigan ethanol plant forward
RIGA, Mich. — Officials with a developing southeastern Michigan ethanol plant have announced an agreement for the purchase of a membership interest in Midwest Grain Processors LLC, an established ethanol company in northern Iowa. The transaction is expected to be completed later this month.
Jeff Ehlert of Blissfield, Mich., announced Tuesday, June 14, that Great Lakes Ethanol LLC had reached an agreement with MGP LLC of Lakota, Iowa, which will speed the development of GLE’s planned 50 million gallon ethanol plant near Riga, Mich.
GLE was formed in January 2004 with more than 300 members from Michigan, nearly 98 percent of whom are farmers. Ehlert, chairman of the GLE board of directors, said the goal of the company was to provide a value-added agriculture opportunity for farmers in the state. Officials expect the ethanol plant to increase corn prices in southeastern Michigan by as much as 5 cents a bushel.
Groundbreaking for the $85 million plant is anticipated in July 2005, with production expected to begin in the fall of 2006. The plant is anticipated to have a staff of 37 employees and will use approximately 17 million bushels of corn annually. In addition to the 50 million gallons of ethanol, the plant will produce 145,000 tons of dried distillers grains (DDGS), a high-protein livestock feed, as a co-product of the ethanol process.
“It’s something the people in the local area will benefit from with all of the possibilities that can be spun off from it,” said Lewis Kemper, a Milan, Mich., contractor and member of the GLE board of directors. “There’s going to be a lot of money spent right within the local area.”
Ehlert and Kemper say that joining with MGP LLC will help bring the plant into production more quickly and will provide an experienced management team to operate the facility.
MGP LLC is one of Iowa’s first farmer-owned ethanol plants. The company began production in November 2002 and is owned by nearly 1,300 farmer-members in 11 states. It currently processes 17 million bushels of corn into more than 50 million gallons of ethanol each year, with production set to double in December with the completion of a $50 million expansion project currently under way and MGP’s existing facility in Lakota, Iowa.
The addition of GLE will bring MGP LLC more than halfway to its goal of 300 million gallons of production by 2008. MGP LLC board chairman David Nelson of Belmond, Iowa, said that the addition of the Michigan plant also provides the company with greater marketing opportunities.
“It really broadens our marketing ability across the United States and provides access to the world markets,” Nelson said.
With production in both Iowa and Michigan, the company will be one of the few in the ethanol industry positioned to efficiently serve both the East Coast and West Coast energy markets.