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August 14, 2001

Ryan: $280,000 in Illinois FIRST Funding for Adkins Ethanol Project

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that he is releasing $280,000 in Illinois FIRST funding to the Illinois Corn Growers Association to support the startup of a new farmer-owned ethanol production facility in Lena.

The Association will assist the Adkins Energy Cooperative in the development of a state-of-the-art, $68 million production facility that will produce 35 million gallons of ethanol every year.

"This Illinois FIRST grant is the latest demonstration of our total commitment to helping Illinois farmers expand the production and use of ethanol," Ryan said. "The state already has dedicated about $3 million in state support for the plant, which will use an estimated 13 million bushels of corn every year. This will be a great boost for corn growers throughout the state, will help keep our air clean and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

This Illinois FIRST project was initiated by State Rep. Ronald Lawfer, R-Stockton.

The Corn Growers will assist in the administration of the facility until it is operational and generating revenue. The facility will be the first farmer-owned ethanol plant in Illinois and is expected to generate $63 million in revenue annually.

Last month, Ryan signed a law phasing out the use of the oil-based fuel additive MTBE in Illinois. This law, along with a recent decision by the U.S. EPA to require the use of ethanol in motor fuel across the country, will greatly increase the demand for ethanol over the next four years and is expected to provide billions of dollars in additional revenue for the state's farmers. Illinois ranks second in the nation for corn production with 1.7 billion bushels harvested in 2000.


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