Ethanol plant in Galva repurposes for hand sanitizer production

Local News

GALVA, Ill. (WMBD) — An ethanol plant in Galva is finding a new purpose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have the skills, we have the people, the technology, we have the infrastructure and we have the resources, and we can do it,” said Dr. Asha Oroskar, CSO of Global Impact Innovation.

In a matter of weeks, Global Impact Innovation began making hand sanitizer.

“We actually are going to deliver about 60,000 gallons this week,” said Asha.

It’s a product in high demand and leaders acted fast to re-purpose the facility.

“A number of things had to be done to quickly get into production,” said Dr. Anil Oroskar, CEO of Global Impact Innovation.

One of the company’s top priorities before production was securing permits. Congressman Darin LaHood helped global impact innovation get authorization.

“They were able to start operating within a week,” said Rep. LaHood.

Anil said the switch wouldn’t be possible without LaHood’s help.

“I don’t think we could have gotten into production so fast,” said Anil.

The plant currently employs 20 people in two shifts using resources locally.

“It’s a win for the united states in terms of what they’re doing here and producing hand sanitizer to help with the pandemic, and it’s a win for our local community here in Central Illinois,” said Rep. LaHood.

They said as the need for sanitizer continues, so will production.

“The demand is quite high still, and we think it will continue for a number of years in the future,” said Anil.

Leaders say the only limit for the plant is demand.

Congressman LaHood also said his clean start act will offer a 50 percent tax credit to help minimize the costs of cleaning. He said schools, businesses, hospitals, and more will be able to get a break on the cost of sanitizer, PPE, and other supplies.

LaHood said he’s optimistic that the bill will be included in the stimulus package.

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