$240 million ethanol plant proposed at Port of Albany

The Albany Port District Commission this afternoon endorsed a proposal for a quarter billion-dollar
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The Albany Port District Commission this afternoon endorsed a proposal for a quarter billion-dollar ethanol plant on 18 acres at the port which, if built, could produce as much as 110 million gallons of corn-based ethanol per year.

The plan chosen by the commission, one of several offered for the 18-acre site, was submitted by Albany Renewable Energy LLC, a partnership of self-described ethanol production industry veterans from out of state.

Company officials said they are initially looking to raise $240 million to build the ethanol production plant and also looking to acquire the rights to build another smaller production facility at the port that combined with the first would give Albany Renewable Energy 165 million gallons of corn-based ethanol production capacity. The total cost of both plants could reach $350 million.

If built, the plant is expected to employ between 50 and 60 full-time workers with salaries of between $50,000 and $60,000 per year. Its construction would require between 300 and 400 construction workers.

Port Commission Chairman Robert Cross said the port is looking for a minimum lease of $20,000 per year per acre of the site for a deal at least 20 years in length. Cross said the shipment of ethanol — and distillers grains, the byproduct of ethanol production — at Albany Renewable Energy’s facility should practically double the annual tons of cargo leaving the port of Albany each year.

“[This] is probably the largest development project in the history of the port,” Cross said.

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