The plant was supposed to be taken apart, with every tower
and turbine put on a ship and sent across the Atlantic Ocean. But a British
company has now stopped plans to disassemble Hopewell's state-of-the-art
ethanol plant, leaving the facility in place with 70 new jobs.
"This is great news for us," said Hopewell Mayor Mike
Bujakowski in a phone interview Tuesday. "We're staying cautiously optimistic,
given the site's history. But indications are that the plant has new life."
The plant never opened, after its original owners ran into
financial difficulties nearly four years ago. The current owners, Vireol
Bio-Industries PLC, originally intended to reassemble the plant about 180 miles
north of London. But the British company changed its strategy, and now intends
to open the site in Hopewell.
"Vireol has determined that recommissioning is a viable
option," reads a description on the company's website. "With one of our
partners, the grain silos were successfully returned to full operation at the
end of August, to provide storage for the record corn harvest."
Open positions are currently listed on the company's
website, with roles ranging from lab technicians to production managers.
The facility was originally estimated to generate more than
$2 million in annual tax revenue for Hopewell, a figure that could change if
the plant is reconfigured. The site is designed to produce 62 million gallons
of ethanol per year.
According to its website, Vireol is developing refineries
around the world to produce bioethanol fuels and high protein animal feeds. The
company operates from three locations in the United Kingdom, as well as its
newest site in Hopewell.
Thursday, August 28 2014 4:16 PM EDT2014-08-28 20:16:44 GMT
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Thursday, August 28 2014 8:21 AM EDT2014-08-28 12:21:40 GMT
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