A Cooperstown company that has spent two years looking statewide for sites suitable for an ethanol bio-fuel plant claims its former consultants steered it away from Albany then chose to pursue a similar project along the Hudson River.
Empire State Ethanol and Energy filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court seeking more than $72 million from Lakewood, Colo.-based BBI International, a bio-fuel consulting firm, and three of its executives, vice president Jeff Kistner, senior manager Ed Stahl, and senior vice president and project manager Mark Yancey.
Stahl and Kistner are the managing members of the Huntersville, N.C.-based Albany Renewable Energy, which in April won a lease for 18 acres at the Port of Albany for a proposed $240 million corn-based ethanol plant. Albany Renewable is also listed in the suit as a defendent, along with Bio-Fuel Resources.
Empire State Ethanol and Energy’s suit comes less than two months after the Albany Port District Commission awarded that lease, which promises to yield the largest development in the port’s history. Empire State Ethanol and Energy officials allege Albany Renewable Energy secured that lease through deceptive and fraudulent practices.
Von Zwehl, who is 2002 served as the executive director for the Long Island Philharmonic, declined comment, and his attorney, William Hurst, and Stahl did not immediately return calls.