Cascade Grain ethanol plant eyes restart
By Erik Siemers, Business Journal staff writer
Business Journal staff writer
More than a year after acquiring the Cascade Grain Products ethanol plant in Clatskanie out of bankruptcy, JH Kelly LLC is looking to start it back up.
The Longview, Wash.-based industrial contractor isn't interested in becoming a full-time ethanol producer. But the company believes it has a better chance of attracting a buyer for a working ethanol plant than one that’s sat dormant for nearly two years.
"By no means is this our core business," said Mark Fleischauer, a JH Kelly senior vice president based in Vancouver, Wash. "We are certainly an involuntary and inadvertent owner of this thing."
Operating under the name Cascade Kelly Holdings LLC, the company — which built the plant for Vancouver, Wash.-based Cascade Grain — believes it can have the facility operating within 90 days.
To do that, the plant will require between $3 million and $10 million in upgrades and another $10 million to $20 million in working capital for feed stock and other needs.
Before any of that can happen, the company is hoping to pry loose Business Energy Tax Credits from the Oregon Department of Energy that Fleischauer said have a cash value of around $5 million.
Though the ethanol plant was pre-certified for the credits, the case has been tied up in ongoing litigation in Marion County court.
Oregon Department of Energy officials declined to comment, other than to note that the tax credits were originally allocated to Cascade Grain and not Cascade Kelly.
The 113-million-gallon Cascade Grain plant opened in Clatskanie in 2008, financed with $100 million in secured bank credit and a $20 million loan from Oregon's State Energy Loan Program.
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