What is in this article?:
• What started as a bright and shining example of American entrepreneurship and an opportunity for Virginia grain farmers to market a fall-planted crop, is now about to be a part of alternative energy history and the beginning of a new dream for growers in Great Britain.
BARLEY ACREAGE jumped in Virginia in response to plans for using it to power an ethanol plant in Hopewell.
What started as a bright and shining example of American entrepreneurship and an opportunity for Virginia grain farmers to market a fall-planted crop, is now about to be a part of alternative energy history and the beginning of a new dream for growers in Great Britain.
The Appomattox Bio Energy Plant built by Osage Bio in Hopewell, Va., in 2010, with the intentions of buying millions of bushels of barley from Virginia grain growers, was purchased by a company from England, and may soon be disassembled and parts of the giant plant will be shipped to England for use in a British ethanol plant in northeastern England.
What started out as a grand plan for developing a market for millions of acres of cropland in the Upper Southeast, which lays barren over the fall and winter months, ended with the City of Hopewell and Osage Bio getting a fraction of what the plant cost to build.
Appomattox Bio Energy and their parent company Osage Bio Energy paid an estimated $178 million to build the plant. The new buyers, Future Capital Partners, paid less than 10 percent of the construction cost for the facility.
The revenue lost in construction cost is only a fraction of the expense of the project to be absorbed by Osage Bio.
The company fought for more than a year to find a location, often with long hours of legal support needed to make presentations, before finally settling on the Hopewell site. Only after a protracted battle with Hopewell officials, did the company secure rights to build the facility.
After the announcement was made in 2011 that the plant would be shut down and be sold to the highest bidder, more legal battles between the company and the City of Hopewell began, pushing the legal tab for the ending, some say, as high as the legal tab for establishing the project.
The City of Hopewell was finally paid$1,926,591 in back taxes from Osage. The city has also agreed to drop a lawsuit filed in 2012 against Osage after it failed to post a $5 million letter of credit to cover property taxes.