Ethanol Plant Planned for Albion

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Sheridan Township's board approved plans for an $85 million ethanol production plant as part of The Andersons, Inc. grain storage facility off Michigan Avenue near Albion.

The plant would be just the 2nd of its kind in Michigan, part of an industry many people say is moving east.

Ethanol is a corn-based alcohol that can be combined with gasoline. Many companies pump 10% ethanol gas. A few make 85% ethanol.

Rod Harris, general manager of The Andersons Albion facility, says the environmentally-friendly fuel is a temporary solution to some of our nation's energy problems.

President Bush's energy bill, signed Monday, calls for the country to double ethanol production in the next seven years.

The Andersons hope to begin building in the fall, finishing up in time to start work in the fall of 2006.

Sheridan Township's Economic Development Director Marilyn Hennon says their work will keep corn prices high, and also provide jobs in their economy.

Harris is excited to be on the cutting edge of energy technology, though he acknowledges ethanol may not be the long-term answer to the U.S.'s energy problems.

"In the meantime, we need to do something, and we are going to try to do it."