Havre Daily News
ROCKY BOY'S INDIAN RESERVATION - Many people are asking about the status of a planned ethanol plant, the Chippewa Cree
tribal council chair said.
Chair John “Chance” Houle and other officials said much has been accomplished. They said they could not yet report on the specifics.
“The biggest gorillas have
been conquered and we're moving forward,” Houle said at Thursday's tribal council meeting.
Houle said he will be able to be more specific as early as next week. Those who are involved with the project said they do not want to compromise any possible partnerships with investors by naming names before contracts are signed.
The planned ethanol plant has been in the works for almost two years.
“The main hurdles have all been jumped,” ethanol plant project leader Steve Galbavy said.
Neal Rosette Sr., National Tribal Development Association chief operating officer, said the tribe has been communicating with interested investors, including a few major corporations.
“I can't say who yet, but all is moving along,” Rosette said.
The cost of opening the plant and the first year's operation fees are estimated to cost between $83 million and
$87 million. Tribal leaders have said that the tribe wants to retain the majority of the ownership of the proposed ethanol plant.
A feasibility study conducted last year by BBI International of Cotopaxi, Colo. said the reservation could support a plant that produces 40 million gallons of ethanol per year.
The plant would supply an estimated 42 full-time jobs to the Hi-Line and employ up to 400 workers during construction.