Biofuel Plant Still on Tap at K.I. Sawyer

Not much has been heard from it lately.

But a new biofuel production plant is still slated to open at K.I. Sawyer later this year.

RenewaFUEL is a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources.

RenewaFUEL announced plans in the summer of 2008 to renovate two old aircraft hangars into the biofuel plant.

Cliffs public affairs manager Dale Hemmila says the plant is on tap to start production sometime in the second half of the year, and once it does, it’ll have about 20 employees.

The plant will produce 150,000 tons of biofuel cubes each year.

The cubes will be made from things like wood, grass and paper products.

Local farmers and loggers will supply those materials.

The Empire and Tilden Mines will be the plant’s main customers — they need the cubes as a fuel source for their iron ore pelletizing kilns.

But sales to utility companies may also be possible, including Marquette’s Board of Light and Power.