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Planned Independent Barley & Malt facility signs supplier agreement with The Andersons

150 150 Independent Malt

MiBiz –

LITCHFIELD — Proposed commercial-scale maltster Independent Barley & Malt Inc. has signed an exclusive supplier agreement with Maumee, Ohio-based The Andersons Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, Litchfield-based Independent Barley & Malt will use The Andersons (Nasdaq: ANDE) to source, supply, deliver and store the malting barley it will use in its operations.

That includes leveraging The Andersons’ transportation and logistics network of trucks, railcars and Great Lakes vessels, as well as storage facilities at the Port of Toledo and in Reading, Mich., where Independent Barley & Malt (IB&M) plans to lease 650,000 bushels, according to a statement.

Backed by a group of investors, Independent Barley & Malt hopes to commission its commercial-scale malt house in Hillsdale County in the fourth quarter of 2020, and targets production of 47,500 tons of malted grains annually. The company aims to serve the craft beer, distilling and specialty food sectors.

Independent Barley & Malt currently is “making progress” on project financing, Mark Schauer, the company’s director of corporate affairs, told MiBiz.

The company is the first tenant announced for Michigan Hub, a $100 million natural gas-fired cogeneration power plant campus that broke ground in October, as MiBiz previously reported.

Schauer said the deal with The Andersons did not include any equity stake in the company. He declined to discuss the timeline for the exclusive supplier agreement, saying that it was “long enough to build a market with intent to extend based on success.”

“Working with IB&M is consistent with our strategic intention to grow income from originations and managing grain assets, expanding trading and risk management services, and broaden our food ingredients and specialty grain platform,” Weston Heide, vice president of food and specialty ingredients at The Andersons Trade Group, said in a statement.

The Andersons “over time” also will work on building a network of local farmers in the vicinity of Independent Barley & Malt’s facility, located in the middle of the state about 20 miles south of I-94 and about 25 miles from the Michigan-Indiana-Ohio border.

Schauer said the company last fall planted a test plot of winter barley in Litchfield that it hopes to harvest this June.

“We will engage a group of Andersons’ growers to plant winter barley in 2019 in the region for harvest [in] 2020,” he said in an email to MiBiz.

Michigan Hub, LLC Revives Litchfield Site with Clean Power Solution

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Investment to craft the future of local power, attracting additional tenants and saving businesses dollars

Litchfield, MI – Michigan Hub, LLC broke ground today on its clean power generating facility at the site of the former Endicott coal-fired power plant, 720 Herring Rd, Litchfield, MI, in the Litchfield Industrial Park.

According to company Chief Executive Officer Glenn Foy, “Michigan Hub will craft the future with local power, supplying our tenants and customers with clean, locally-sourced electricity, steam, and chilled water at a price that will reduce their production and utility costs and increase their competitive positions.”

“Michigan Hub’s vision is aligned with the corporate sustainability missions of companies located in Litchfield, and we plan to attract additional tenants to our site on Herring Road. We believe in a true ‘hub’ of forward-looking businesses that demand low-cost energy that is locally produced and reduces their carbon footprint and costs.”

Michigan Hub’s first tenant will be Independent Barley & Malt, Inc. (IB&M), a commercial-scale producer of malted barley and grains for craft brewers and distillers in the Great Lakes region. IB&M will be the largest malt house in Michigan and the largest east of Milwaukee, producing 50,000 tons of malted grains each year.

To complete Phase 1 of the Michigan Hub project, over $100 million will be invested at the 42-acre site, creating approximately 75 jobs–equivalent to the number previously working at the former Endicott Power Plant.

According to IB&M Chief Executive Officer, Michael Cooper, “Independent Barley & Malt’s operation is energy intense. Our initial interest in locating our plant in Litchfield was because of Michigan Hub’s vision for the site. The synergies were immediately clear–the opportunity to access lower cost energy at an industrial site located in a thriving rural community were critical to our site selection. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Michigan Hub and build on the success of each other’s projects.”

Foy also indicated that the City of Litchfield and the Litchfield Tax Increment Finance Authority have been instrumental in Michigan Hub moving forward with its development on such a broad scale. Litchfield City Manager Doug Terry commented: “The renewal of the old power plant to one that is clean and uses state-of-the-art technology validates our work. Michigan Hub and Independent Barley & Malt will be perfect additions to our community. We look forward to welcoming more businesses to Michigan Hub’s energy park in Litchfield.”

Michigan Hub acquired the property at 720 Herring Road from Michigan South Central Utility Resource Solutions (formerly Michigan South Central Power Agency) on September 30, 2016, and is scheduled to complete full demolition by the end of October. Michigan Hub’s combined heat and power plant is modular in design with the last module scheduled to be installed by mid-2022. Michigan Hub expects to have 176 MW of power generating capacity–150 MW to meet the needs of Michigan municipal utilities to comply with State Act 341, which mandates sourcing local electrical capacity, and 26 MW for its industrial tenants.

Litchfield Office

IB&M Moves Offices to Litchfield, MI

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