East Coast Ethanol LLC has announced plans to construct 110 million gallon per year ethanol plants in Jesup, Ga., Campellton, Fla., Chester, S.C. and Seaboard, N.C.

Total cost of construction of the four plants is estimated to top $870 million and is expected to generate over $400 million annually to the local economies in the four states.

Combined, the plants will use 150 million to 200 million bushels of corn annually. The company hopes to buy some of the corn in the grain deficit Southeast, but will likely purchase and ship most of their stock from the Midwest.

Construction of the four plants is expected to begin in the spring of 2009. Construction time for each facility is estimated to be 18-22 months.

Nearly 70 percent of the seed investors in East Coast Ethanol LLC are farmers or in the agriculture industry.

Based on current output, when the four plants are in full production, ECE would be the sixth largest ethanol producer in the U.S. and the largest in the Southeast.