Soydiesel, Ethanol Prospects Eyed by Region 8 Farmers

MARCH 1, 2007 - Posted at 11:13 a.m. CST

CORNING, AR - If a biofuel-from-soybeans plant is to be built in northeast Arkansas, area farmers and bankers say the region will also need a soybean-crushing facility.

About 200 people attended a meeting this week in Corning to explore what would be involved in starting a fuel plant.  Without a crusher, local soybeans would have to be shipped out-of-state to have the oil extracted.  Then the oil would have to be shipped back to northeast Arkansas for fuel production.

A steering committee was named to begin getting investors and other needs lined up for both a bean-crushing facility and soydiesel production plant.

Also at the meeting, a representative of a Colorado biofuels consulting firm outlined a proposal to build an ethanol production plant that would use locally produced corn and milo.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)