Grand Forks officials seek biofuel connections in Poland

By On September 22, 2018

Grand Forks officials seek biofuel connections in Poland

Grand Forks officials seek biofuel connections in Poland . Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks HeraldGrand Forks Mayor Mike Brown talks with the editorial board Wednesday afternoon. 1 / 2Keith Lund2 / 2

Mayor Mike Brown is heading to Poland with Keith Lund , president of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., and City Administrator Todd Feland to build partnerships and talk about biofuels.

The Red River Biorefinery, which broke ground last month, is being celebrated during a bioeconomy conference in Lodz, Poland, Lund said. The Grand Forks refinery is the first plant created in America from a partnership with the company Biotecknika's Polish research.

"The technology for the biorefinery, converting ag waste or ag byproduct to ethanol actually was developed at a research university in Lodz," Lund said.

He said the most valuable part of the experience will be networking to see what kind of technology could be integrated into Grand Forks in the future.

"When we develop something in the United States or in Grand Forks, we kind of white-knuckle it and want to hang onto it like it's ours and nobody can have it," he said. "When something is developed in Europ e, and the experience with people I know in Poland, they really celebrate when it's exported and they really celebrate when it's exported and operational in the United States."

Travel funds will come from the city and EDC budget, Lund said.

Pete Haga, community and government relations officer, said the mayor will also meet with city and university officials to discuss other potential partnerships.

"It's an opportunity to showcase the community and showcase its ability to welcome new businesses like this," Haga said.

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