WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Keokuk Plant To Reopen

Jan 20, 2012

Plant Manager Dennis Clark says testing at the biodiesel plant in downtown Keokuk could get underway in a couple of weeks.

He says that process will continue until the equipment is up to speed, as it sat idle for several years.

The same company (W2 Fuel that owns the former Tri-City Energy plant in Keokuk has a similar facility in Crawfordsville, Iowa.

Clark says the hiring process is underway at both locations.

“We advertised in a couple of local newspapers and we have about 100 resumes,” says Clark, “some really good people are out there looking for jobs, so we are going to try to get a few people on.”

Clark hopes to have about 40 employees between the two plants by the end of the year.

He says the Crawfordsville facility has nearly wrapped up the testing phase, so the plan is to bring the plant online on Monday.

Clark says a glycerin plant will also be built in Keokuk.

Congressman Dave Loebsack toured the Keokuk facility Thursday afternoon.

Afterwards, he pledged to continue working to extend the federal biodiesel tax credit each time it comes up for a vote.

The southeast Iowa Democrat says in the past, Congress waited too long to take action on the tax credit.

“What we saw of them is a lot of biodiesel plants around Iowa closed down,” says Loebsack, “people were unemployed and not making money and that reeks havoc on the economy.”

Congressman Loebsack does not believe a long-term extension (3-5 years) is feasible given the cost of the tax credits.