New ethanol plant in works for S. GA - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New ethanol plant in works for S. GA

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August 22, 2006

Tifton - Even if the price of gasoline has dropped a few pennies, it's still expensive. The high cost, along with the dependence on foreign countries for our fuel is leading South Georgians to look for alternative fuel sources.

The United States is the world's leader in corn production. Georgia's number one industry is agriculture. The two combined can add up to a new alternative fuel. A fuel that burns cleaner, uses a renewable resource and refuels the economy.

Farmers, businessmen and investors, all gathering to learn what ethanol could mean for South Georgia.  Allen Whitehead says, "We think this is the right thing to do in our state at this time." That "right thing" consists of building a 40 Million gallon per year ethanol facility in this part of the state.

Whitehead says, "We want something that we can produce locally. Something that can be grown locally, where we don't have to depend on other countries to bring in all of our fuel." Allen Whitehead is the Chairman of Georgia Alternative Energy producers. He says the plant would provide jobs, use local services and have a major role in Economic Development.  He says it would be, "Not only good for farmers, but it should be good for our communities in our whole entire area."

And good for the environment as well. Here's how: We're not going to run out of corn. The by-products from the ethanol making process are distiller's grain, which can be used for feed and Carbon Dioxide, which can be used for sodas. Scott Richman of Informa Economics says, "We're in a deficit for carbon dioxide used for food and beverages, and the production from this plant would fit quite nicely in that market."

The only question remaining is will people in this market step up to the plate to help fund the plant? That's a question Georgia Alternative Energy Producers hope to have answered tonight (Tuesday). They are hosting an open meeting at 7PM at the Regional Development Center, in Tifton for anyone interested in learning more or investing in the plant.

A site has not been located for the plant. Construction could begin in about a year.

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