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Steuben OKs $1.5M loan to Ashley for industrial infrastructure

By Mike Marturello

May 22, 2018 - 

ANGOLA — Steuben County has approved an agreement to provide a $1.5 million loan to Ashley for infrastructure for RES Polyflow.

In their meeting Monday, commissioners approved an agreement that will enable the Ohio-based manufacturer of plastics-to-fuel energy recovery systems to close on its lending through the Indiana Bond Bank.

RES Polyflow spokesman Michael Dungan said the company plans to finalize its lending in about six to eight weeks then plans to start moving soil on the $131 million project that’s been nearly three years in the making at least publicly.

“We have secured our equity partner for the project,” Dungan said. “We are very pleased with our progress.”

While there was some initial trepidation on the part of commissioners to approve the plan, eventually the agreement was approved 3-0.

“They will be a tremendous addition to our county. We can’t give up on them now,” Commissioner Lynne Liechty said.

The final piece to the puzzle is infrastructure for the project. Ashley Clerk-Treasurer Karen McEntarfer said she is committed to securing the funding to make the project happen.

The infrastructure would serve an 80-acre parcel with a road, sewer and water. The land is owned by Wayne Klink, who is donating land for the road and rights of way. RES Polyflow is going to use 40 acres, leaving another 40 acres for other development, shovel ready.

If final approval clears the Steuben County Council, the loan to Ashley will carry a 2 percent interest rate. While it was said that Ashley wants to pay the loan in six to seven years, it’s possible it could be paid off earlier if other development occurs.

The loan will be paid off through money captured in a tax increment finance district covering the area. It is expected that supplier firms might be attracted to the site to serve RES Poly.

The company is planning to build a facility just east of Interstate 69, north of C.R. 800S, on the Steuben County side of Ashley. The land is on property currently owned by Klink, next to Klink Industries.

The RES Polyflow process converts a wide mix of co-mingled plastic waste into a consistent hydrocarbon. Once online, the Ashley facility is expected to create a new market for the growing stream of complex plastic film, flexible packaging and other low value, non-recycled plastic waste that typically ends up going to landfills or fouling local waterways.

The RES Polyflow plant will convert 100,000 tons of plastic waste into 16 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and naphtha blend stocks per year. The project is expected to begin processing in 2019. The facility will also produce commercial grade waxes for sale to the industrial wax market.

The company plans to start fuel production in early 2020.

RES Polyflow has already secured BP as its main customer. It was announced in March that BP will purchase all of the diesel fuel and naphtha blend stocks produced by the RES Poly facility for distribution in the regional petroleum market.