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DENCO II takes care of another detail

The DENCO ethanol plant in Morris. File photo

By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

DENCO II received approval from the City of Morris to transfer its wastewater discharge permit from the plant's previous owners.

Local investers recently announced they had purchased the plant from DENCO and that the plant would resume production this fall after it was shut down in January 2009.

Mick Miller, general manager for DENCO II, told the City Council that the plant discharges "non-contact" water into the Green River and that wastewater is discharged into the city's sewer system. The plant is working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and other state agencies to find long-range plans to reduce the amount of water the plant uses and discharges.

Water is one of two primary concerns DENCO II has with the plant, the other being the age of plant and its less-efficient energy use, Miller said.

The council was briefed about DENCO II's progress since taking over operations in late August.

DENCO II expects to hire 30 employees and 25 have been hired to date. The plant also expects to begin grinding corn for processing next week. When the sale was announced, official stated that they hoped operations would begin Oct. 1.

"Things are happening very quickly," Miller said.

Previous owners kept the plant in a "cold idle state," meaning that essential systems were kept operational even while the plant was closed to ensure it was attractive to potential buyers, Miller said.

Several council members expressed appreciation that the plant was open and hiring.

"On behalf of the city, we're happy that you're rockin' and rollin'," Morris Mayor Sheldon Giese told Miller.