Alternatives to fossil fuels continue to attract attention from both environmentalists and financial interests. One of the leading alternatives, in fact arguably the leading alternative as far as availability goes, is ethanol. Ethanol is already widely available in some states right at the gas pump.
The future of ethanol, however, is still a bit uncertain. There are still a lot of questions about whether or not it burns cleaner (or dirtier) than fossil fuel. And the many factors affecting the price and availability of corn also make it uncertain.
However, if investment, construction of new plants and big business buyouts are any indication, a rosy outlook seems almost certain. No one can predict with any real certainty how new business ventures will turn out. And in a fledging industry like alternative fuels almost anything can happen.
But Dexter, Iowa, already producing quite a bit of ethanol for the state of Iowa, is expanding in a very big way. A new industrial park (the “West-Metro I-80 Planned Industrial Park (PIP)”) is being built along the rail line in Dexter, right next to I-80. And Dexter Ethanol LLC began work on a brand new ethanol plant there earlier this year.
The plant is slated to bring 80 high quality jobs to the area, with annual payroll of approximately $3.6 million. It will produce approximately 100 million gallons of ethanol a year, utilizing approximately 38 million bushels of corn. Many locals are supportive of the project, stating their pride in being a part of the solution to depending less on foreign oil.
Interestingly, Dexter Ethanol LLC is owned by Alpha Holdings of Nevada. The found of Alpha Holdings LLC worked as a businessman in the Middle East for 15 years, and his experiences there “convinced him that ethanol will play an important role in world energy needs, and that now is the time to develop these projects.”
Additionally, there are a lot of new homes being built in this very idyllic small town. Dexter is absolutely beautiful and the people I have met there are friendly. Train tracks run right through the middle of town with facilities for loading/unloading cargo cars. And active community is present and there are very decent schools. A small town with the potential for very big things is definitely the vibe I get from this location.
The new industrial park, the interest by knowledgeable investors from outside the area, the development by a seasoned businessman and the new construction of homes in Dexter seems pretty convincing to me. Dexter, Iowa could very well be the next “Ethanol Boom Town” and certainly worthy of a second look by investors, laborers and anyone considering a change of job or location.
Production of ethanol is planned to start in Dexter in 2008.