GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan-based energy developer is acquiring an Iowa ethanol plant from DuPont Industrial Biosciences.
VERBIO North America Corp., the Grand Rapids-based subsidiary of a German energy company, agreed to terms to purchase the cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. The deal, which is subject to closing conditions and also included some raw material inventory, is expected to close in November, according to a statement.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
VERBIO North America, a subsidiary of VERBIO Vereinigte BioEnergie AG, plans to install its technology at the facility that will convert corn stovers — or the plant material left over after the harvest — and other organic materials into ethanol, which it describes as “renewable natural gas.” That resource will then be added to natural gas transmission lines and offered at compressed natural gas filling stations or for fleet use.
“We can use part of the installed equipment for our production and there is a solid base of local farmers from whom to procure the raw materials,” stated VERBIO CEO Claus Sauter, who noted the plant will offer “new agricultural revenue streams, new employment opportunities and new sources of tax revenues” in the community.
The company expects to start construction on the facility next spring and bring it online by the summer of 2020. It would be the third such operation to use the German company’s technology.
VERBIO North America, led by President Greg Northrup, an energy industry veteran, plans to develop, own, operate and finance similar plants across the country, according to a statement.
DuPont Industrial had been seeking ways to sell off its biorefinery operations after completing the 2017 merger with Midland-based Dow Chemical Co.