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AMJET Seeks Federal Grant

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Keokuk and Lee County got in on the ground floor of AMJET Turbine Systems by loaning the new industry $200,000 and $150,000, respectively, in 2010.

CEO Paul Roos told the Keokuk City Council and the Lee County Board of Supervisors, on Thursday, that those dollars were essential to AMJET reaching the level it is today.

He is currently raising money to build and test a full-size version of a micro-hydroelectric turbine he designed that can be placed in waterways throughout the country.

"Our unit, for the same power generated, weighs 1/5 of a conventional turbine and also takes 1/5 of the space of a conventional turbine while it is as efficient or more efficient than those turbines," says Roos.

Roos says AMJET will learn on Friday, Nov. 15 whether it will receive a $1-million grant from the U.S Department of Energy to help pay for the construction and testing of the full-size turbine.

He says if the money comes through and other contributions are found, this phase could be completed in 2015.

Roos says mass production could begin in late 2014 because once the first turbine is built and shown to be functional, the model can be easily duplicated.

Lee County's money was used to design the turbine while Keokuk's contribution went towards the construction of a 1/8 scale model for initial testing.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.