LOS ANGELES and CARLETON, Neb. -- Altra Nebraska LLC has started construction on what they say will be one of Nebraska's largest ethanol production facilities.

Breaking ground on the 360-acre Carleton facility, a $200 million project, continues Altra's current phase of its strategic plan to build 500 million gallons per year (MMGY) of biofuel production capacity across the nation through the acquisition and enhancement of existing operating assets as well as the development of strategically located and permitted sites with state-of-the-art biofuel refining technology.

"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 prolific, low-cost corn production for processing ethanol, as well as the extensive dairy cow industry, for the sale of distiller's grain, an ethanol co-product. Upon completion in mid-2008, the Carleton plant is expected to be operating at 110 MMGY of nameplate ethanol capacity.

The Carleton facility is anticipated to create 50 new full time jobs in the region and generate millions of dollars of economic activity in the local and surrounding communities. Additionally, the Carleton facility is anticipated to use more than 36 million bushels of corn per year.

Altra Inc. is acquiring and developing a portfolio of renewable energy projects. The company is focused on the production and sale of ethanol and biodiesel. The company owns and operates California's only large-scale operating ethanol plant, located in Goshen, Calif. The company is also currently constructing a 60 MMGY ethanol facility located in Coshocton, Ohio, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2007, and an 88 MMGY ethanol facility in Cloverdale, Ind., that is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2007.

SOURCE: Altra Inc. via Business Wire.