LifeLine Foods LLC has announced intentions to construct an ethanol production facility in St. Joseph, Mo. The project is estimated to consist of $60 million in new investment and the creation of 35 new jobs.

The facility will include the latest in ethanol processing technology and is expected to produce in excess of 40 million gallons of fuel grade ethanol per year.

According to Bill Becker, LifeLine CEO, there are still ongoing discussions and details to be resolved prior to the start of the project, but are optimistic that construction can begin later this spring. Much of the process will be integrated into the existing infrastructure and is designed to enhance and expand the company's current corn-based food manufacturing.

LifeLine's expansion includes investment in the company by ICM Inc. of Colwich, Kan. ICM is a leading design and engineering firm in the ethanol industry.

"We are very impressed with the St. Joseph community and are looking forward to our involvement with LifeLine and the future of food manufacturing," said Dave Vander Griend, CEO of ICM. In addition to becoming a part owner of LifeLine, ICM also intends to install a pilot plant within the LifeLine complex. The intention is to perform ongoing testing and analysis which will support future development and growth in the industry.

As part of the transaction, a Missouri Cooperative, AgraMarke Quality Grains Inc., will remain a majority owner of LifeLine. The cooperative consists of approximately 400 farms from the states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. The farmers produce and deliver specific varieties of corn with enhanced milling characteristics.

LifeLine processes the corn and produces food incredients and retail ready products for several large food manufacturers in the United States and abroad. The company has 95 employees.

SOURCE: St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce on