A company that considered building an ethanol production facility
near the Klamath Falls airport will build in the Midwest instead.
Seattle-based E-85 told local economic development officials last
month that it would build its $150-million facility elsewhere.
Trey Senn, executive director of Klamath County Economic
Development Association, said he was disappointed, but added local
leaders are continuing to seek industrial development for the
“You have a lot more pop-up flies rather than home runs,” Senn
E-85 officials began looking at the Klamath Basin in spring 2006,
analyzing availability of water, rail and a workforce to operate
The proposed site was the Wesgo property near the intersection of
Joe Wright Road and Washburn Way, behind the site of a proposed
county road shop.
Plans for the facility included production of 100 million gallons
of ethanol a year, produced from corn shipped in by rail from the
Midwest. It would have employed up to 40 people.
No specifics given
Senn said company officials did not specifically say why they
didn’t choose the Klamath Falls site, but did indicate it would be
easier to build the facility in the Midwest.
Dan Golden, coordinator of the Klamath County biofuels task force,
said he wasn’t surprised that E-85 opted to go with another site.
The facility’s need for water and electrical power would have
strained the region, he said.
“I was always a little guarded about that proposal,” he said.
“There are a lot of stresses and strains facing that industry.”
Golden said the Klamath Basin is still poised for development of
biofuel production facilities, citing the needs and offerings of
local agriculture as well as the region’s proximity to the
California energy market.
Senn said another ethanol company contacted the economic
development association 10 days ago about building a facility in
the area, and officials are working on other leads for industrial
development as well.
Klamath County officials are still developing biodiesel facilities
in the county, including one on Liskey Farms on Lower Klamath Lake
and a proposed facility in a retrofitted chemical plant on the
Klamath River near rail lines.