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University of Minnesota Extension

Economic impact of a second generation biofuels facility

Key findings for communities

  • Construction of a proposed second generation biofuels plant will create $59.5 million of economic activity in Minnesota, including 464 jobs and $35.6 million in labor income.
  • Approximately half of the impact, $29.5 million, will be directly generated by the construction companies. These companies will employ 230 individuals and pay $25.3 million to complete their construction duties.
  • Operations of the facility will create $34.6 million of economic activity in Minnesota, including 151 jobs and $8.4 million in labor income.

  • The plant itself is projected to have direct sales of $100.4 million annually. 

About this study

University of Minnesota Extension conducted an analysis of a proposed second generation biofuels plant. The proposed plant is expected to be co-located with an existing ethanol plant in southern Minnesota. 

A major input to the production process is the feedstocks, which will be a mix of corn oil, soy oil, and non-food grade tallow. Because the feedstocks are by-products of other production processes (in the case of corn oil and tallow) and/or compete for limited cropland (in the case of soy oil), the utilization of the feedstocks by the plant is not expected to increase production of the main product (corn, soybeans, and meat). Therefore, the utilization of these feedstocks by the new plant is expected be offset by decreased utilization elsewhere for no net change in this aspect of the overall economic impact on Minnesota.

Projected revenues and costs were provided to University of Minnesota Extension by the JetE company. Any changes in those projections will alter the economic impact analysis. Further, researchers did not review or verify any of the financial accounting of the proposed plant.

More about this report

Read full report (PDF)


Brigid Tuck, Senior Economic Impact Analyst, Extension; William Lazarus, Professor, Department of Applied Economics

Reviewed in 2013

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