Miron Construction has been heavily involved in the biofuel industry over the past few years, providing general construction and construction management services for ethanol and biodiesel facilities in Wisconsin and Iowa.
One of our current projects is the Flambeau River Biofuels facility, which will be the largest second-generation “green diesel” plant in the United States. The plant, located in Park Falls, WI, at an existing pulp and paper mill, will convert bark, sawdust, wood, and residue into clean, renewable power and diesel fuel.
The plant is currently in the final stages of pilot testing, with construction slated to begin in the fall of 2011.
It’s an exciting project – one Miron is proud to be a part of – and it represents the next step in clean fuel and power generation for our country. Flambeau River has applied for, and received, federal assistance for the project through the US Department of Energy grant process and the department’s loan guarantee program.
This federal assistance is essential if we are to continue driving the biofuel industry forward. Since the technology used at the Flambeau River facility is new – and therefore riskier – than traditional biofuel production techniques, many banks are unwilling to finance the construction of these new projects. That makes the federal government’s role in funding next generation biofuel development all the more important.
But as the federal government begins to show more preference for wind and solar projects than biomass, the funding for projects like Flambeau River is far from assured. If we are to continue working to provide clean, renewable transportation fuels that reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil and improve our environment, the support of the federal government is critical.
Sustainability, and the support of sustainable industries, has always been a priority for Miron. We hope to continue building the infrastructure necessary to provide Americans with clean, renewable fuels, but if we are to do so, it is imperative that the federal government supports this industry.