January 20th, 2010
The Crow Creek Sioux tribal council last week unanimously approved signing a memorandum of understanding with EcoTech Fuels.
The company is supposed to be in South Dakota this week to meet with tribal officials to choose a site for a $39 million fuel production plant that would turn municipal waste into Torqazine, a fuel or fuel additive recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency that produces greater octane than ethanol and burns a bit cleaner.
The plant would convert 100 tons of landfill waste per day to between 200 and 400 barrels of fuel that, like ethanol, can be used undiluted in flex-fuel vehicles or mixed with gasoline for use in all vehicles.
The plant would bring about 40 permanent full-time jobs to the tribe, ranging from engineering management to blue-collar labor. For signing the memorandum of understanding, the Crow Creek tribe is in line for 10% of the net profits if the plant ever produces fuel. The share of profits could rise to one-third if the tribe puts money into the venture or helps EcoTech secure federal grants, according to Tribal Chairman Brandon Sazue.
The company also plans to meet with the Oglala Sioux Tribe to continue discussions about building a similar plant at Red Shirt Table. She said the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s development arm has inquired about building a plant there, as well, using waste from hog farms on the reservation as the feedstock.