Ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel that is produced from renewable sources. At its most basic, ethanol is grain alcohol, produced from crops such as corn. Because it is domestically produced, ethanol helps reduce America’s dependence upon foreign sources of energy. Currently, 88 ethanol plants nationwide have the capacity to produce nearly 3.9 billion gallons annually. There are 16 ethanol plants and three major expansions under construction with a combined annual capacity of over 1 billion gallons.

Ethanol Plant

The Archer Daniels Midland Corn Processing Plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. NAFTC Photo

North Dakota Has Two Existing Ethanol Plants
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today congratulated Red Trail Energy, LLC for beginning construction on its ethanol plant near Richardton, North Dakota. The plant will process 18 million bushels of corn into 50 million gallons of ethanol and 150,000 tons of distillers grains annually.

“This plant will use local lignite to power the conversion of local corn into a premium transportation fuel that replaces costly petroleum imports. This synergy is a great example of how ethanol production can benefit local economies and improve energy security at the same time,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen. Fagen, Inc., the Granite Falls, Minnesota design-build contractor is the general contractor and will incorporate a process design provided by ICM, Inc. of Colwich, Kansas. The plant will use lignite coal to fire its boiler.

The Salina Journal recently reported the planned development of a new “energy center” near Goodland, KS that will comprise ethanol and biodiesel production facilities, as well as a coal-fired power plant. According to the newspaper, Jerry Fairbanks, Vice President of Goodland’s First National Bank, noted that the Goodland Energy Center is designed to be “co-generational,” with steam from the coal power plant used to power the ethanol facility and the biodiesel plant to utilize a byproduct of the ethanol production in the formulation of its own fuel. The paper said investors anticipate that development of the three plants, which will each have a separate owner and operator, will cost a combined total of up to $45 million. Biodiesel plant owner ReNewable Energy Resources will be responsible for development and engineering of the project, which is expected to become operational by next fall.

Demeter Enterprises has announced plans to begin building a new ethanol production facility in Montgomery County, IN this summer. According to AP, Demeter expects the plant’s construction to cost approximately $125 million and create approximately 60 new jobs for the county when it opens in 2007.AP noted that the new facility, to be located south of the town of Lafayette, is expected to produce approximately 100 million gallons of the alternative fuel additive annually.

Ethanol, LLC has begun construction on its new ethanol plant near the city of Sterling, CO. According to RFA, the facility will process more than 15 million bushels of corn into 42 million gallons of ethanol per year. Additionally, the company plans to capture 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 352,000 tons of wet distillers grains for use in local feedlots. “The RFA congratulates Sterling Ethanol as it begins construction on Colorado’s first ethanol plant,” said RFA president Bob Dinneen. “This plant will be a showcase for the synergies between ethanol production and the livestock industries.

Local Colorado newspaper, the Windsor Tribune, reported last week that Front Range Energy, LLC has purchased 40 acres of land in Windsor, CO, to house a new ethanol plant that will produce 40 million gallons of the bio-based fuel each year. Front Range Energy President Dan Sanders will serve as manager of the plant, which is expected to begin producing ethanol in March 2006.

Northstar Ethanol has commenced production at its 50-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant near Lake Crystal, MN. According to RFA, the opening brings Minnesota’s ethanol plant total to 14, with two additional facilities currently under construction. “The RFA congratulates Northstar Ethanol for beginning production at Minnesota’s newest job-creating engine,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen. ” Minnesota continues to be a leader in recognizing and promoting the economic development benefits of the ethanol industry. Northstar Ethanol is a perfect example of the many economic benefits spurred by ethanol production.

PineLake Corn Processors, LLC has begun production at its new 20-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant near Steamboat Rock, IA. “The RFA congratulates Pine Lake Corn Processors as they begin production at their ethanol plant,” stated RFA President Bob Dinneen. “This farmer-owned plant will serve as an economic engine for the surrounding community.” The lead contractor on the project was St. Louis, MO-based Monsanto Enviro-Chem Systems.

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