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Spiritwood ethanol plant is OK'd for revenue bonds

BISMARCK -- The Spirit Ethanol plant being built at Spiritwood will be able to use $60 million to $80 million in revenue bonds to build its sewage and solid waste disposal facilities now that the state Industrial Commission has agreed to have the state Public Finance Authority issue bonds.

Gov. John Hoeven and Tim Porter, executive director of the Public Finance Authority, said the state is not obligated under the bonds. If they are defaulted on, the project is responsible, Porter said Friday during the Industrial Commission meeting.

The ethanol plant is part of the Spiritwood Industrial Park, a $350 million industrial complex being built at Spiritwood, a small town about 10 miles east of Jamestown. It will include a 100-million-gallon ethanol plant; an expanded Cargill malt processing plant; and a 99-megawatt Great River Energy coal-fired steam generating plant.

The project was announced in 2006 and groundbreaking took place last November.

The Public Finance Authority formerly was known as the state's Municipal Bond Bank. Its name was changed a few years ago to recognize that it assists projects beyond those for municipalities.

Janell Cole works for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Dickinson Press.