CARLETON, Neb. --- A subsidiary of Altra Inc., a California-based developer of renewable fuel projects, has begun construction on a major ethanol production facility in Nebraska. The 360-acre, $200 million project is part of Altra's plan to build 500 million gallons per year (MMGY) of biofuel production capacity across the nation. "Alternative fuels have been a boon to rural economies across Nebraska, and our state continues to be a leader in biofuels production," Gov. Dave Heineman said. "We have the corn, we have the livestock, and we have the local know-how to help these facilities seize important economic opportunities for our farmers and ranchers." Located in south central Nebraska, the Carleton facility is expected to benefit from the region's low-cost corn production for processing ethanol, as well as the extensive dairy cow industry for the sale of distiller's grain, an ethanol coproduct. Upon completion in mid-2008, the Carleton plant is expected to operate at 110 MMGY of nameplate ethanol capacity. The Carleton facility is also expected to use more than 36 million bushels of corn per year, Altra said. "In Nebraska, we've been at the forefront of ethanol production to reduce our dependence on foreign energy supplies by growing our own," said Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson. "The addition of the Carleton ethanol plant brings us a step closer to our goal of replacing fuel from foreign oil fields with fuel from Nebraska corn fields."

Originally posted on Fleet Financials