[NEWS] South Dakota Ethanol Refinery Delayed
– by Associated Press, May 19, 2016, Argus Leader
A $140 million ethanol plant planned just outside of Onida is having trouble getting off the ground due to legal, financial and regulatory hurdles.
Ringneck Energy had hoped to start construction this spring and have the plant operating in a year, but the company is about $20 million short of the $75 million in startup money it needs, despite dozens of investor meetings late last year, according to its president and CEO, Walt Wendland.
“We gave local farmers and businessmen and the people of South Dakota a chance and we wished we would have gotten more involvement,” Wendland said. “But since December we have worked hard to find large investors to finish the project.”
The company also is still awaiting a state air quality permit that it had expected to have by February. The state Department of Energy and Natural Resources has had to respond to comments from plant opponents, the Capital Journal reported (http://bit.ly/25c6xM7 ).
Some opponents also have sued over Sully County’s zoning approval for the plant, saying officials improperly rezoned the site for commercial agriculture processing to make way for the plant. The county said the argument was technical and lacked substance, and a state district judge late last year affirmed the zoning decision. Opponents have appealed to the state Supreme Court.