'We're in business'

John Sloan/GateHouse News Service

After a couple of years of construction and another couple of months of testing and start-up procedures, Galva’s new 100 million-gallon ethanol plant is doing what it’s supposed to be doing: producing ethanol.

“We’re now at full production,” said Big River CEO Raymond Defenbaugh. “We started our first grind a couple of weeks ago, then it takes a week to do tests, because the ethanol has to be up to standards. We have done all of that, and feel it’s up to par,” he continued. “It’s going well. Our staff is working well.”

Defenbaugh is also pleased with the operation of the facility’s zero-discharge water system, which produces salt crystals as a by-product.

“It’s working well,” he said. “Our system provider, U.S. Water, says it’s one of the best startups they’ve seen. Right now, we’re hauling the crystals to the landfill, but we’re hoping they’ll meet standards and be good for road usage.”

But the biggest news is the fact that Galva’s newest, biggest business is up and running.

“We’re filling cars,” said Defenbaugh. “We’re in business.”