Broin to Construct Plant #30

Broin Companies South Dakota-based Broin Companies, the nation’s largest dry mill ethanol producer, will construct its 30th ethanol production facility near Fostoria, Ohio.

According to a press release, Fostoria Ethanol will produce 65 million gallons of ethanol from 21 million bushels of locally grown corn and produce 178,000 tons of premium Dakota Gold Enhanced Nutrition Distillers Products.

Broin Companies expects to start construction in the next 30-60 days with a construction time period of 12-14 months.

IndyCar Races up the Hill

DC IndyEthanol was the center of attention outside the US Senate building in Washington DC Wednesday as Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh of Indiana joined with members of the ethanol industry to mark the use of 100 percent fuel grade ethanol in the IndyCar Series starting in Homestead this weekend.

Among those on hand to commemorate the event, organized by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council and the Renewable Fuels Association, was Team Ethanol IndyCar driver Jeff Simmons who addressed a large crowd of media representatives.

DC IndyEPIC Executive Director Tom Slunecka said several other lawmakers in addition to Sens. Lugar and Bayh attended the event as well, including Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota.

“Lawmakers understand that ethanol is bringing a change in this country,” said Slunecka. “Our dependence on foreign oil is being reduced by the use of ethanol and they want to make sure that the momentum continues to grow so they turned out today to help show their support.”

DC IndyEPIC board member Greg Krissek, Director of Government affairs for ethanol design firm ICM Inc, said increasing the use of the plant-based fuel is helping to reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil, revitalize rural economies and address global environmental concerns.

“We’ve seen that ethanol used as an oxygenate in engines reduces the amount of pollution out the tailpipe,” Krissek explained. “But even more importantly, ethanol is a renewable resource reducing the amount of hydrocarbon fuels that we need to use.”

The first race in the 2007 IndyCar Series takes place March 24 at 8:00 pm ET at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Read story from the IRL on the Capitol event.

(Photos courtesy of IRL and RFA)

Bush Talks Energy in Missouri

President Bush talked about his energy initiatives, domestic fuel and alternative fuel vehicles during a visit to a Ford Motor assembly plant in Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday.

“The reason I’ve come is I want to highlight an important initiative for the country, and that is to promote technologies so we are less reliant upon foreign sources of oil. And the best way to become less reliant on foreign sources of oil is to manufacture automobiles that will use either less gasoline, or different kinds of fuels,” said Bush.

Bush CarsThe president talked about his goal of reducing America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next 10 years and how hybrid cars and flex-fuel vehicles can help achieve that goal.

“You’re producing flex-fuel vehicles here, where somebody can decide to fill up with ethanol, or they can decide to fill up with gasoline, their choice. In turns out that Henry Ford — Model T was one of the first flex-fuel vehicles. I didn’t realize that until I came here — but that he had the vision of having the Model T run either on gasoline or ethanol. Isn’t that interesting?”

Read the president’s entire address at the Ford plant from the White House website

New Ethanol Plants Planned

Biofuel Energy Denver-based BioFuel Energy has finalized locations for three new ethanol production facilities.

According to a press release, the company is currently constructing its first two 115 million gallon a year ethanol plants in Wood River, Nebraska and Fairmont, Minnesota. Both are being built by TIC in association with Delta-T Corporation and are expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2008.

The Company indicated that the sites for its next three 115 million gallon a year facilities are in Alta, Iowa; Gilman, Illinois; and Atchison, Kansas. An alternate site is being prepared in Litchfield, Illinois.

Ethanol Pioneer Passes Away

Badger State EthanolThe CEO of Wisconsin’s Badger State Ethanol died on Sunday of an apparent heart attack at the age of 71.

John Malchine was a co-founder of the ethanol plant and served as chairman of its board since May 2000. The facility began production in November 2002. He was also one of the original board members of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

The Journal-Times of Racine, near Malchine’s hometown of Norway, has a good article about him.

Domestic Fuel reporter Chuck Zimmerman interviewed Malchine last year at the Indy 500.

Ethanol Wins in Sebring

Sebring Ethanol-enriched fuel was a clear winner at the 55th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the first time the renewable fuel was used in an endurance race format. The LMP2 class was won by Andretti Green Racing featuring the Acura ARX, while Corvette Racing took a first in the GT1 class. For the first time ever, both cars used a 10 percent ethanol-enriched blend.

In January, the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) along with the American Le Mans Series, announced that E10 would become, “the official ethanol-enriched fuel” of the series.

“Ethanol has once again demonstrated its performance pedigree in the most demanding environment in motorsports,” said Tom Slunecka, executive director of EPIC. “Ethanol demand has been spurred, in part, by consumers’ growing confidence of ethanol. Nothing demonstrates the performance benefits of ethanol better than high tech race cars under the lights at Sebring.”

The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg. The race will start at 5:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 31.

Renewable Fuels Research Center Dedicted to Sen. Lugar

Dick LugarA newly created renewable energy center at IUPUI has been named after Indiana Senator Richard Lugar.

In a press release, IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said the campus wanted to name the center for Indiana’s senior United States Senator because of Lugar’s steadfast leadership on renewable energy issues.

“Developments at the federal level underscore the growing awareness that renewable energy will play a leading role in ensuring U.S. energy independence,” Bantz said. “The creation of the Richard G. Lugar Renewable Energy Center is a direct response to that recognition. Senator Lugar’s strong support for renewable energy research has had an immeasurable influence on our nation’s collective thinking about the need for energy security.”

During dedication ceremonies on Monday, Senator Lugar had some strong words for critics of ethanol, according to Indiana’s Hoosier Ag Today radio network.

“Eighty percent of the world’s oil supply is controlled by governments. Oil companies and the forces of supply and demand do not determine the price of oil.” He said this situation poses a security threat for the United States, “We need to understand that we are talking about the ability of our country to continue on in the lifestyle to which we are accustomed.”

Historical Perspective on Feed Prices

Tufts UniversityA new study by the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University in Maryland offers some interesting perspective on the issue of feed prices. In the report “Industrial Livestock Companies’ Gains from Low Feed Prices, (1997-2005)” the authors state that, “With rising demand for corn-based ethanol, representatives of many of the nation’s leading meat companies have expressed concern over the rising price of animal feed, which has increased significantly with the price increases for its two principal components, corn and soybeans.”

Tufts UniversityFeed prices have indeed increased significantly. As feed costs generally account for more than half of operating costs for industrial operations, higher prices can have an important impact on the bottom line for these companies. So too can low prices. Any discussion of today’s high prices should take into account the extent to which these same firms have benefited from many years of feed that was priced well below what it cost to produce. In the nine years that followed the passage of the 1996 Farm Bill, 1997-2005, corn was priced 23% below average production costs, while soybean prices were 15% below farmers’ costs. As a result, feed prices were an estimated 21% below production costs for poultry and 26% below costs for the hog industry. We estimate cumulative savings to the broiler chicken industry from below-cost feed in those years to be $11.25 billion, while industrial hog operations saved an estimated $8.5 billion. The leading firms gained a great deal during those years from U.S. agricultural policies that helped lower the prices for many agricultural commodities.

Florida Needs Ethanol

Ethanol BannerAn aerial promotion campaign for ethanol in the Sunshine State took off this past weekend over the racetrack at Sebring, the theme parks in Orlando and the beaches of Fort Meyers.

The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council will be flying this banner over cities from Miami to Jacksonville in the next few weeks to get the message out that Florida Needs Ethanol.

According to EPIC, ethanol is currently blended in 46% of our nation’s fuel supply with the majority of the fuel blended with 10% ethanol. But in many major cities, such as Tampa, consumers currently do not have access to purchase even a 10 percent ethanol blend, although it can be used in any of today’s cars.

“Ethanol’s performance and environmental benefits resonate with consumers,” said Reece Nanfito, EPIC’s senior director of marketing. “It may take time, but ethanol-enriched fuels need to be a part of Florida’s energy future.”

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson agrees. “As we develop cellulosic technology in Florida, I think that’s what we are going to be the most well-known for,” said Bronson. “We working with the University of Florida to find out which crops will be most beneficial to produce ethanol.”

Bronson is working to get the Florida Legislature to fund more incentives for biofuels production and research in Florida. He also sees a bright future for biodiesel production in the state. “Research I have seen on blue-green algae says that may be the very one that’s going to take over biodiesel because you can make so much diesel out of that blue green algae and we can grow a lot of that in Florida. So I think we are going to lead the nation in that.”

Listen to an interview with Commissioner Bronson from Katherine Bush with Southeast Agnet. Listen to MP3 File Charles Bronson (2 min MP3)

Major Ethanol Campaign Kickoff

E LogoThe Ethanol Promotion and Information Council has set in motion a major media campaign to promote ethanol nationwide, as well as a push for ethanol in Florida.

Two :30 second ethanol commercials debuted Friday on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, SPEED TV, CBS and NBC.

The commercials aired during ESPN2’s one-hour “2007 IndyCar Series Season Preview” to highlight the March 24 season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The two spots – Choose Ethanol and Parallel- booth draw attention to the use of ethanol in high performance vehicles like the IndyCar Series and encourage consumers to choose ethanol at the pump. They can be viewed here on the EPIC website.

Meanwhile, as ethanol debuts as part of the American Le Mans Series this weekend at the 12 Hours of Sebring Race in Florida, EPIC has begun a major push to increase ethanol availability in the Sunshine State.

The Omaha-based consumer marketing arm of the ethanol industry has launched an aerial advertising campaign throughout the state with the message, “Florida Needs Ethanol,” and directing consumers to their website

The website provides useful information about the performance and environmental benefits of the renewable fuel, as well as ways in which consumers can join the movement to make ethanol more widely available in the state.

“Florida has one of the nation’s fastest growing populations,” said Reece Nanfito, the senior director of marketing for EPIC. “The demand for fuel will obviously continue to grow in the state, so it is critical that Floridians have the opportunity to make a choice at the pump for a more stable, environmentally-friendly energy future.”

“Field of Dreams” Ethanol Plant Breaks Ground

US Bio 1US BioEnergy broke ground Friday on US Bio Dyersville, a 100 million gallon per year ethanol biorefinery in Dyersville, Iowa.

“We are happy to be a member of the Dyersville community and believe in the power of the American farmer,” stated Gordon Ommen, US BioEnergy’s CEO and president. “The construction of this plant is another step in decreasing our country’s dependence on foreign resources and revitalizing the American Heartland.”

Dyersville is where the movie “Field of Dreams” was filmed, which Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen says is very appropriate.

US Bio 3“It is fitting that the home of the ‘Field of Dreams’ is now going to be home to a state-of-the-art ethanol biorefinery. Across Iowa and around the country, farmers and rural communities are thriving because of tremendous economic opportunities ethanol production is creating. Whether its fields of corn today or fields of corn and switchgrass tomorrow, ethanol is helping turn rural America into a real life field of dreams.”

Among those on hand to celebrate with US BioEnergy were Ron Fagen, President and CEO of Fagen Inc.; Dyersville Mayor Jim Heavens; Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of American Coalition for Ethanol; and · Dave Schroeder, President of Dyersville Industrial Development.

Ethanol Branding Makes Progress

e-podcastBeing able to identify ethanol at the pump nationwide can help consumers “fill up and feel good” no matter where they are.

That’s the goal of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council’s “e” branding program, which already has seven states on board in just a few months. This edition of “Fill up, Feel Good” talks about the progress, the program’s goals and how it is being implemented. The podcast includes comments from EPIC’s Robert White and Mark Lambert of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.

The “Fill up, Feel Good” podcast is available to download by subscription (see our sidebar link) or you can listen to it by clicking here. (6:00 MP3 File)

The Fill Up, Feel Good theme music is “Tribute to Joe Satriani” by Alan Renkl, thanks to the Podsafe Music Network.

“Fill up, Feel Good” is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

Ethanol Campaigning

McCain BusAccording to the Washington Post, John McCain had only been in Iowa long enough Thursday to make one ethanol joke – “I have a glass of ethanol every morning for breakfast” — when word went out that he was already leaving.

Turns out that the presidential candidate ended up staying after all, skipping a procedural vote in DC on the Iraq war. On the campaign trail, McCain has apparently decided to try and make up for ignoring Iowa in his race seven years ago when he was vocal in his opposition to ethanol subsidies.

Now the candidate is reportedly supporting ethanol, at least with words, if not actions. According to an article on Seeking Alpha analyzing McCain’s position on ethanol, blogger Konrad Imielinski notes that the candidate maintained a consistent “anti-ethanol demeanor through 2005 as documented by his voting record” which includes voting against the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Environmental Effects Caused by Ethanol Amendment and the Energy Omnibus Bill.

McCain then changed his position completely in 2006. When giving a speech in Iowa, the same state which he publicly stated his skepticism in 2000, he said “I support ethanol and I think it is vital, a vital alternative energy source not only because of our dependency on foreign oil but its greenhouse gas reduction effects.”

HillaryMcCain isn’t the only candidate to have an “ethanol conversion” experience, as the Washington Post calls it.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) experienced one in May of last year. Long opposed to federal support for the corn-based biofuel, she reversed herself and endorsed even bigger ethanol incentives than she previously voted against. Now running for president, Clinton is promoting a $50 billion strategic energy fund, laden with more ethanol perks.

Seeking Alpha’s Imielinski also analyzes Clinton’s ethanol position noting that she voted a total of 17 times against measures promoting ethanol production. Senator Clinton even stated in 2002 that “there is no sound public policy reason for mandating the use of ethanol” but now has shaped herself as a prominent advocate of ethanol.

Aventine Branches into Biodiesel

Aventine Ethanol producer, marketer and distributor Aventine Renewable Energy has entered the biodiesel business.

According to a company release, Aventine is setting up a marketing program for biodiesel similar to how it currently markets ethanol.

Aventine president Ron Miller, who is also chairman of the Renewable Fuels Association, says “As the country continues to embrace other sources of renewable fuels in addition to ethanol, we intend to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace to utilize our 25 years of experience, distribution assets, and customer relationships. Biodiesel is a natural progression and addition from ethanol for us. We will continue our focus on our existing ethanol alliance and expanding our own ethanol production facilities, while at the same time, adding another renewable fuel source to our product lineup.”