New partnership to introduce a more sustainable dairy industry at planned facility in Constantine

What’s happening: A new dairy processing facility has been announced in the village of Constantine, one that promises to reduce the carbon footprint of dairy byproduct, build infrastructure, and create new jobs for the St. Joseph County community near Michigan's southern border with Indiana. And newly announced support from the state will help them do just that.

What it is: Dairy Distillery Alliance, LLC, will build a milk permeate ethanol plant at the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) dairy facility in Constantine. The project will also build a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment system that produces natural gas to power the ethanol plant’s distillation system. The project will result in 12 “well-paying jobs,” as it’s put by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The plant is expected to start production in early 2025.

Who’s doing it: The Dairy Distillery Alliance is a joint venture between the MMPA, a farmer-owned cooperative that includes more than 1,000 dairy farmers in the Great Lakes Region, and Dairy Distillery USA, the American affiliate of the Canadian-based Dairy Distillery.

Think Green: It’s the Canadian Dairy Distillery that developed the technology to turn milk permeate, a dairy processing byproduct, into ethanol, and the Constantine plant will be able to produce 2.2 million gallons of low carbon ethanol. Blend that with transportation fuel and the Constantine plant’s ethanol will offset 14,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. The aforementioned wastewater treatment system will both power the ethanol plant’s distillation system and negate its need for the local utility to treat its waste.

State support: The MEDC announced that the Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant on the strength of the $41.1 million development, as well as a 15-year State Essential Services Assessment exemption valued at $682,500.

Why it’s important: “Constructing an ethanol-processing plant at the Constantine facility compliments our focus on sustainability and provides a progressive, unique opportunity to utilize new technologies that add value to our current processing operations while further diversifying the markets we currently serve,” says MMPA President and CEO Joe Diglio. “It’s exciting to see innovative solutions such as this facility, which lead to growth and success for our members, employees, stakeholders and our communities.”

Click HERE to watch an informative video about the Constantine Lactose Ethanol Project.

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