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CARGILL BREAKS GROUND FOR BLAIR CORN PLANT

 BLAIR, Neb., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Nebraska Gov. Ben Nelson and Congressman Doug Bereuter joined officials of Cargill and the city of Blair today to participate in ground-breaking ceremonies for the $200-million corn wet milling plant Cargill is building here.
 When the Blair plant goes into production in 1995, it will process 120,000 bushels of corn per day to produce fuel ethanol, a variety of sweeteners, corn germ, carbon dioxide, corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal, said Mike Urbanic, president of Cargill's North American Corn Milling Division.
 "This is the largest industrial investment project ever undertaken in our state, and its impact will be substantial," Nelson said. "This plant will produce jobs, increase the demand for Nebraska-grown corn, and produce ethanol -- a product that reduces pollution and helps save our environment for future generations."
 The plant will employ about 130 people when it starts up, according to Urbanic, who noted that more than 1,800 Nebraskans currently are employed in Cargill Feed, Seed, Grain Merchandising and Meat-Packing operations at 23 locations around the state.
 Most of the corn for the Blair operation will come from eastern Nebraska and western Iowa producers within an 80-mile radius of Blair, a Missouri River city of 6,860 people 20 miles north of Omaha, Neb.
 The ethanol refinery at the Blair plant will have a capacity of more than 60 million gallons a year, Urbanic said. Including ethanol production at its facility in Eddyville, Iowa, Cargill's total ethanol capacity will be more than 100 million gallons annually beginning in 1995.
 The Blair plant will be Cargill's fifth North American corn processing plant. Others are in Cedar Rapids and Eddyville, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and Memphis, Tenn. Cargill long has been a leading supplier of nutritive sweeteners to the major food and beverage companies in both the United States and Europe.
 The plant's site of more than 600 acres is well situated for expansion, allowing the addition of other fermentation and bio-chemical products derived from corn. One such product under consideration, Urbanic said, is a corn-derived degradable polymer that can replace petrochemical-based plastics in a variety of food service, packaging and other applications.
 Cargill recently began construction in Savage, Minn., of a polymer plant to manufacture the product for packaging companies and consumer goods makers interested in developing uses for it. That plant, with 10 million pounds of annual capacity, is expected to be operational by February 1994, according to Urbanic.
 Cargill is an international marketer and processor of agricultural, financial and industrial commodities. The privately held company is based in Minnetonka, Minn., near Minneapolis. Cargill has offices and facilities in more than 800 worldwide locations in 58 countries employing nearly 70,000 people; 38,500 of them in the United States.
 -0- 7/23/93
 /CONTACT: Allan Holbert of Cargill, 612-742-6194/


CO: Cargill ST: Nebraska, Minnesota IN: AGR SU: PDT

KH -- MN011 -- 5277 07/23/93 16:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 23, 1993
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