Vancouver-based Makad Corp was contracted to build the North Dakota Ethanol Complex the,17 million gallon ethanol production facility in Williston Basin Industrial Park in Williston, North Dakota. The expected completion date is early 2005.Bismarck, North Dakota – August 1, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Governor John Hoeven said the plant is expected to use about 6.8 million bushels of corn annually, creating a demand for an additional 51,000 acres of production. The project will generate as many as 400 jobs during peak construction phase, and take 14 months to complete. In addition, the plant will produce feed byproduct for cattle operations in the Mon-Dak region, which has about one million head of cattle. “We’ve put new economic development tools in place, aggressively promoted the use of ethanol and fostered a better climate for production,” Hoeven said. “In addition, we’ve adopted a real team approach – with the Department of Commerce coordinating efforts and resources with the City of Williston and the Williston Area Development Foundation. Now we’re seeing the results of all of these efforts come together in an exciting new project for northwest North Dakota.” Discussions regarding the Williston project began in February 2002 with the North Dakota Department of Commerce Business Development Team. Makad conducted a financial analysis and feasibility study to determine if North Dakota should be the location of a future corporate ethanol site, followed by company site visits to Williston and several other North Dakota locations in July of 2002. “We commend the vision of the Governor, his Department of Commerce staff under Lee Peterson and the Williston City and Development personnel,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Makad, Elie Makad. The company, and state and local officials, investigated a variety of issues, including corn production, transportation and utilities. Irrigation acres have increased in the Williston area for the production of sugar beets, potatoes, alfalfa and other high-value crops. The same irrigation infrastructure will help ensure the levels of corn production necessary to supply an ethanol plant of the scale projected. “This project fits in so well with our vision of the future,” said Williston Mayor Ward Koeser. “We have made value-added agriculture a priority in our economic development strategy.” “Ethanol is the logical marriage between agriculture and the oil and gas industry, and Williston’s economy is based on oil and gas,” said Tom Rolfstad, director of Williston Economic Development. “We have emphasized our base of skilled employees and the availability of oil and gas service and supply companies in the area.” Lee Peterson, commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, placed great importance on the cooperative effort of all involved in making this project a reality. Peterson said, “It takes teamwork to drive economic development. The announcement of this project once again proves that we are getting the job done by doing things differently. The cooperative effort of all of our economic development partners was instrumental in making this project happen.” Last November, Hoeven rolled out the North Dakota Ethanol Production Incentive program, a market-based support system for the growing ethanol industry. The program establishes a counter-cyclical financial incentive for the production of ethanol in a newly constructed ethanol production plant. The Legislature passed the program into law in April.