CLEARFIELD – Officials, members of the business community, plant employees and the general public turned out to celebrate Pennsylvania Grain Processing’s purchase of the former Bionol site in Clearfield. The company held a ribbon cutting on Thursday at the site in East End in Clearfield Borough. Plant employees took those in attendance on a short walking tour of the production facility, answering questions and explaining the process along the way.

The plant was constructed in 2009 and began operating in the first quarter of 2010 as the first and only large-scale grain-to-ethanol facility in Pennsylvania. The facility has been idle since June, 2011. PGP is an affiliate of Zeeland Farm Services, Inc. (ZFS), a 60 year old, diversified agricultural and transportation company headquartered out of Western Michigan.

“Through this acquisition, PGP is poised to serve Pennsylvania with new market opportunities and economic development,” explained Dan Meeuwsen, company manager in a press release in April. “It is our goal to develop viable business opportunities and promote job development as much as possible, helping to add value to the community and the agricultural industry in any way we can.”

On Thursday, Meeuwsen expressed their excitement about being a part of the local economy and producing ethanol. After the ribbon cutting, he said they figure to be producing ethanol in 4-6 weeks. Meeuwsen said they will start out slow, but get up to capacity in short order. The facility can process up to 40 million bushels of grain per year into 110 million gallons of ethanol and 330,000 tons of dry distiller’s grain with solubles (DDGS).

He stated the process of acquiring the property went fairly quickly. He said all of the employees had been re-hired directly after closing on the business had occurred. Meeuwsen stated the company is also expanding, adding positions. As an example, he pointed out that all of the marketing will be done in-house. As a result, they’re hiring people to fill those positions.

State Rep. Camille “Bud” George expressed confidence in the new ownership, and happiness in the plant firing back up again.

Clearfield County Commissioner Mark McCracken also commented on the topic.

“We’re (the commissioners) very excited to see Pennsylvania Grain Processing take over the ethanol plant,” said McCracken. He added that the company has a good business background and has a bright future in Clearfield.

source: gantdaily


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