Sanimax plans to build biogas plant in South St. Paul


Rose McGee will get to stay in her Golden Valley home.

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Sanimax, an animal rendering and waste oil processor in South St. Paul, says it plans to build a $30 million bioenergy plant there to produce methane from food waste.

The facility called SaniGreen Bioenergy, a partnership with Green Energy Partners of Denmark, Wis., also would generate electricity, the company said last week.

Dan Ostrenga, director of organic solutions for Sanimax, said the company is seeking financing, grants and permits for the project, and that construction could begin by the end of this year or early in 2014

He said the facility would charge a fee to accept waste from food processors, restaurants and other sources, and sell the methane as a replacement for natural gas. The electricity would be used in the nearby Sanimax plant. The biogas production would take place in an enclosed building with negative pressure to reduce odor, Ostrenga said. About 20 permanent jobs would be created, the company said.




Amcom gets ‘E’ for exports

Amcom Software, the Eden Prairie-based subsidiary of USA Mobility, is one of only 57 companies nationally this year to receive the U.S. Commerce Department’s highest award for exports for its efforts of the last four years. Amcom president Colin Balmforth said in an interview that international sales grew by 29 percent between 2009 and 2012, outpacing overall sales growth. The company has established offices in London and Dubai and is “deployed” in 200 hospitals in Saudi Arabia.

“The Middle East is getting very interesting for us,” Balmforth said. “And we were just selected by a major hospital in Australia, a mining concern in Australia and the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. Only three other software companies received an ‘E’ award and we are the only health care communications company.’’

Amcom, which had sales of $57.8 million last year, just won a software contract for a new $6 billion regional heath care and research complex in Qatar.

Amcom was acquired by Virginia-based USA Mobility for $163 million in 2011. Amcom provides “urgent communications” software for the medical and public safety industries.

Landowners gain rights over power line land taking

Farmers and homeowners who don’t want to live near new high-voltage transmission lines have won new rights under amendments to a 35-year-old Minnesota law that is unique in the nation.

The “buy the farm” law was enacted in 1977 after violent protests erupted against a power line project in west-central Minnesota. The law allows property owners to demand that utilities purchase their entire property, rather than a 150-feet-wide easement, when building high-voltage lines.

Nearly 100 landowners have invoked the seldom-used law to avoid CapX2020 transmission projects now being completed across the state. But some people complained that courts and utilities restricted how the law was applied. The Minnesota Legislature passed a measure last week giving property owners more rights — and likely greater compensation — when invoking the law.

David Shaffer

rose McGee Can stay in her home

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