GRAFTON, Ill. -- A development group’s investor says a southwestern Illinois plant that will process invasive Asian carp culled from the Mississippi and Illinois rivers could launch its operations within eight months.
Officials gathered Thursday to welcome plans for the $5.4 million venture in Grafton, a 700-resident town near the confluence of the two big inland rivers.
Ben Allen of American Heartland Fish Products says the venture already has lined up a three-year deal to supply a Chinese customer a total of 35 million pounds of processed carp.
Developers, Illinois lawmakers and state environmentalists believe the plant could help control the populations of silver carp and bighead carp. Those are species from Asia that increasingly have crowded out more popular fish in the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.