9/26/2017 2:48:00 PM Al-Corn members vote to become LLC
By Karen M. Jorgensen
It was a busy week for Al-Corn Clean Fuel, as the members voted on Tuesday to convert the business from a cooperative to a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Then on Wednesday a group of state commissioners and staff members stopped by to take a bus tour around the grounds to look at the new construction.
The decision to change the cooperative to a LLC was announced following a shareholder vote, said Board Chairman Rodney Jorgenson.
Al-Corn Clean Fuel, LLC will be acquiring all of its corn for operations on the open market through traditional pricing methods, as well as average pricing contracts and other methods as determined by management.
"Without our member's willingness to grow and compete in an ever changing business environment, we would not be here today," Jorgenson said. "We have begun moving forward to allow the conversion to become a reality while ensuring our current operations continue running smoothly."
The company is currently expanding and modernizing the Claremont facility from 50 million gallons per year to 120 million gallons per year, including storage for 1.5 million bushels of corn to facilitate deliveries, the company said in a news release. Once complete, the expansion will require an additional 25-27 million bushels of corn annually.
"By increasing the production capacity of the Claremont plant, we will be able to drive down cost of production and reach better price markets," Jorgenson said. "The conversion to an LLC was necessary for Al-Corn Clean Fuel to realize the full potential of the expansion and modernization project," Jorgenson said.
It was that expansion project that brought a busload of state officials to the plant Wednesday.
The visitors were members of the Minnesota Business First Stop Group. The group is the commissioners and staff of nine state agencies joined together to assist in smoothing the permitting process for business.
Touring the Al-Corn construction site last week were the commissioners of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, Iron Range Resource Board, Department of Employment and Economic Development and staff members of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Labor and Industry.
The group was on a two-day bus tour of businesses in southeastern Minnesota. At Al-Corn they were joined by Claremont Mayor David Luedtke, Tom Monson from CEDA and Al-Corn Manager Randall Doyle.
The group toured the construction site by bus as Doyle explained the history of Al-Corn, the process of making ethanol and what the expansion will mean to the operation.
The expansion, Doyle said, will more than double ethanol production and go from 35 employees to 45 to 47 workers.
The construction, he said, is on schedule and on budget and the anticipated completion date is spring of 2018.