Illinois plant receives loan to rehire workers

By Bryan Sims | September 20, 2010
Posted Sept. 28, 2010

Midwest Biodiesel Products LLC received a $300,000 loan from the St. Louis Business Development Fund and St. Louis Private Fund. The company intends to use the loan to rehire laid-off staff at its 12 MMgy multifeedstock plant in South Roxana, Ill., and buy soybean and vegetable oil, according to President Terry Zintel.

"We brought back one [worker] already and we plan to bring back a couple more," he said, noting that the company had to lay off five employees since April. "The funding should also help us increase biodiesel sales as well."

Though the facility has a production capacity of 12 MMgy, the plant is producing "at a fraction of that," Zintel said, citing the lapsed biodiesel tax credit that expired in December as the primary culprit behind depressed production volumes.

All things considered, however, Zintel said he's thankful for the infusion of funds, particularly in an economy in which banks have become highly averse to lending money to plants in worse financial standing than MBP. "Right now, banks are not loaning to the biodiesel industry because of the uncertainty of the biodiesel tax credit situation," he said. "[Banks] all say 'come back once the tax credit situation has subsided.'"

The St. Louis Business Development Fund, a private for-profit corporation owned by 27 bank shareholders and three local economic development agencies, invests in growing companies that demonstrate significant potential for success, but are unable to access sufficient senior debt to finance organic growth or acquisitions. The Private Fund investors consist of 22 local business leaders interested in promoting economic growth in the region.
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