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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2001

Governor Participates in Ethanol Research Pilot Plant Groundbreaking

EDWARDSVILLE -- Governor George H. Ryan today joined with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Congressmen John Shimkus, and Southern Illinois University President Dr. James Walker in breaking ground for the state-of-the-art National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Pilot Plant (NCERPP) at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

"This is a tremendous step forward in our efforts to broaden the use of ethanol in this country and across the globe," said Ryan. "A large of number of individuals and organizations banded together to ensure that Illinois remains the leader in developing ethanol technology, and I want to thank and congratulate everyone involved in making this project become a reality."

As part of the groundbreaking ceremonies, Governor Ryan presented a $6 million check to SIU President Dr. Walker. The money is being issued by the State of Illinois through the Coal and Energy Development Bond Fund. The fund is administered through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA).

"It has taken a united effort from my Illinois colleagues in Congress to make this day possible, "Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois -20) said. "Through visits by Speaker Hastert and Agriculture Committee Chairman Combest, I was able to show the viability of the ethanol plant project to our national colleagues and am proud to have participated in making this ethanol plant a reality.

"Without the initial support of Governor George Ryan and the Illinois General Assembly, it would have been a bigger struggle for funding in Washington."

The concept of the NCERPP was developed by the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the State of Illinois as they worked together with universities, researchers, and industry to develop, test and commercialize new technologies and processes to reduce the costs of producing ethanol and add to the value of a bushel of corn.

The NCERPP will be a state-of-the-art, 23,000 square foot facility that includes both a corn wet and dry mill ethanol pilot plant. The goal of the facility is to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies for producing ethanol from corn and to develop new value added byproducts.

"Through construction of this facility, and continuing assistance to farm families and the ethanol industry, we will do whatever we can to expand the use of ethanol and provide Illinois corn growers and ethanol technology companies the opportunity to further market their products," added Ryan.


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