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Guardian Lima, LLC has not retained any of the original executive staff that first built the plant.

Press Release (Nov. 18, 2010) Guardian Energy Holdings Completes Investment in Lima, Ohio Ethanol Plant

Lima, Ohio (November 18) – Guardian Energy Holdings, LLC, headquartered in Janesville, Minnesota, has completed an investment to acquire a majority stake in the ethanol production facility located in Lima, Ohio.  The 54-million gallon per year plant was wholly owned by Paladin Ethanol Acquisition, LLC (PEA), an entity backed by Washington, DC based Paladin Capital Group.  The company will operate under the name Guardian Lima, LLC.

The facility originally began operations in 2008 as Greater Ohio Ethanol, but filed for bankruptcy protection later that year due to numerous operational challenges and adverse financial market conditions.  The plant has been idle since November, 2008 and was acquired by PEA in March, 2009.

In connection with the recent investment, ICM, Inc. of Colwich, KS has been retained to lead a retrofit and upgrade program for the plant.  Construction has already begun at the site and the facility is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2011.  When operational, the plant will consume approximately 19 million bushels per year of corn to produce 54 million gallons per year of fuel grade ethanol and 165,000 tons of dried distillers grain.  The company will hire a staff of 31 full time employees and the retrofit project will create up to 60 construction jobs. The facility will be managed by Guardian Energy Holdings, LLC. 

Guardian Lima also announced that it has selected Renewable Products Marketing Group (RPMG) as its ethanol and distillers grain marketing partner.

 “ICM is thrilled to work with Guardian Energy Holdings, LLC, to conduct a retrofit of the Lima (Ohio) facility and improve operating efficiencies. We are proud to support Guardian’s efforts in strengthening the local economy and creating U.S. jobs that can never be outsourced. We look forward to getting this facility up and running so that ethanol production can begin again as well as bring economic benefits to Lima and northwestern Ohio,” said Dave Vander Griend, president and CEO of ICM, Inc.

About Guardian Energy Holdings, LLC
Guardian Energy Holdings is a joint venture between Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company in Benson, MN: Heartland Corn Products in Winthrop, MN and KAAPA Ethanol, LLC in Minden, Nebraska. These companies are farmer and locally owned ethanol production companies.  Guardian Energy Holdings sees great value in working together to secure local ownership and to retain the value created at the plant level. In addition to the Lima investment, Members of Guardian Energy Holdings are also invested with AL-Corn Clean Fuel Cooperative of Claremont, MN; Central Minnesota Ethanol Coop of Little Falls, MN and Golden Grains LLC of Mason City, Iowa in Guardian Energy LLC which owns and operates a 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Janesville, MN. The owners of the Guardian companies have years of successful ethanol plant operation and pride themselves on their continuous innovation and spirit of cooperation.  One of the members’ greatest achievements was the development of cooperative marketing and the founding of Renewable Products Marketing Group, one of the leading ethanol marketing companies in the nation.

About ICM, Inc.

Established in 1995 and headquartered in Colwich, Kan., ICM, Inc., has focused on sustaining agriculture through innovation by engineering, building, and supporting the renewable fuel industry’s leading biorefineries. Proprietary ICM process technology is behind approximately 6.6 billion gallons of ethanol production per year. Additionally, ICM backs every facility they design with the most aggressive yield, energy, and emissions guarantees available. The full-service provider also offers a comprehensive line of more than 100 products and services tailored to make biofuels production more efficient and more profitable. ICM is further upholding its responsibility as an industry leader by heavily investing in the continued advancement of renewable energy technologies. In an effort to speed that advance, ICM has been conducting research and testing at its two state-of-the-art research facilities in Colwich and St. Joseph, MO, in conjunction with a growing list of strategic partners spanning multiple industries.

About Renewable Products Marketing Group

Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Shakopee, Minnesota, RPMG is owned by 12 producer owned ethanol plants, markets about 1 billion gallons of ethanol annually and 1.5 million tons of distillers grains annually as well as corn oil and biodiesel.  RPMG has over 30 employees. RPMG strives to provide a competitive advantage for producer-owned plants in order to level the playing field with the large corporate competitors. RPMG allows producers to remain independent, yet be associated in order to benefit from the economies of scale that their unified position in the marketplace allows, via RPMG.