Liberty Gives Michigan Chance to Invest in Ethanol

by : Anthony Fontanelle

Liberty Renewable Fuels, LLC, announced today it is giving local investors an opportunity to help drive America's energy independence by investing in Michigan's largest ethanol plant, a 110 million gallon a year project near Ithaca, in Gratiot County.

"We are thrilled to have progressed to this point in our project. We are now able to invite the public to join in our effort," said David Skjaerlund, President and CEO of Liberty. "Too often these opportunities go only to Wall Street. We're giving Main Street Michigan a chance to invest on the ground floor. We know of no other ethanol plant in Michigan that has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to allow a public offering in the state prior to plant construction."

The Ithaca facility, one of six ethanol operations in Michigan, is expected to process 40 million bushels of corn into 110 million gallons of ethanol annually, the company said. Aside from ethanol, the plant will also produce 354,000 tons of distillers' grains for animal feed.

Ethanol, a clean-burning high-octane fuel, can be used in vehicles as a fuel per se or an additive. The ethanol is expected to play a key role in the future of the auto industry. As a fact, there are numerous studies to further its development. In the future, ethanol will be made compatible to auto parts like Ford engine, , Chrysler radiator, Toyota cold air intake, and more.

According to the U. S. Energy Information Administration, the demand for ethanol will likely exceed 14 billion gallons in the next few years. It is blended with one-third of the gasoline consumed in the United States. Five million vehicles in the U.S. today are flexible fuel vehicles capable of using fuel that is a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

The company's registration of securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission was effective on June 7. The company is offering ownership interests for $5,000 per unit, with a minimum purchase of four units (or $20,000). It also plans to raise between $50 million and $100 million in a public offering.

Meetings are scheduled throughout the state starting July 9 to offer convenient access to detailed investment information for those who are interested in investing in the plant. According to the company, those who are interested to find a meeting in his community or to request an investor's packet, can visit or call 989-743-1042.

Skjaerlund is confident the company has a secure future in the ethanol industry. "Liberty has been committed from the start to a forward-looking approach to addressing key business aspects required for an ethanol plant to be successful," said Skjaerlund.

The company has partnered and signed multi-year pacts with regional grain elevators to help provide the corn essential for the ethanol plant. Since January this year, site work on the 435-acre site has been under way. Construction is starting this week, with the construction team ICM expected to complete the Ithaca plant in the third quarter of next year.

Aside from this, Skjaerlund said Liberty has executed a term sheet for project financing with Farm Credit Services of Grand Forks and GreenStone Farm Credit Services has offered to extend credit to their Greenstone members who invest in Liberty.

Liberty, organized in June 2006, is a development-stage company that is aimed at developing, constructing, owning and operating an ethanol plant to be located in central Michigan. If the development stage is successful, the company anticipates owning and operating a dry mill corn-processing plant. This plant, when built, would be Michigan's largest ethanol plant built to date.