Ethanol production increasing nationwide

Ethanol developments near Quay County

The Dallas-based Panda Ethanol Inc. announced Wednesday that it intends to build a 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Sherman County, Texas.

It will be fueled by more than 1 billion pounds of cattle manure a year, according to a company press release.
And on June 24, Gov. Bill Richardson announced that an ethanol plant to open in Clovis will more than triple New Mexico’s ethanol output. That plant, is to produce more than 100 million gallons of ethanol derived from corn, the release stated.

It will be built on ConAgra Trade Group’s Peavy grain elevator property, near its existing grain elevators on U.S. Highway 60/84. Construction on that plant, a partnership between Carlyle/Riverstone Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund I, L.P. and the ConAgra Trade Group, is slated to begin next month, the release stated.

On Monday, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) announced that U.S. ethanol production increased in June to 318,000 barrels per day, an all-time record, according to an association spokesman.

That is an increase of 25,000 barrels per day from May and a rise of nearly 28 percent from June 2005, said Matt Hartwig, communications director for RFA which has about 250 member companies, representing about 90 percent of the nation’s ethanol producers.

Demand for ethanol also rose to record levels in June at 395,000 barrels per day, an increase of more than 42 percent from the same period a year ago, he said.

Currently, there are 101 ethanol biorefineries nationwide with the capacity to produce more than 4.8 billion gallons annually. There are 42 ethanol refineries and seven expansions under construction with a combined annual capacity of nearly 2.9 billion gallons, Hartwig said. Overall, the capacity by the end of 2007 will be 7.7 billion gallons, Hartwig said.

The industry is innovative and synsergestic in its processes, Hartwig said. For example, by-products of corn from the ethanol-making process can be to added to feedstock and by-products from livestock, such as manure, are being used to fuel ethanol plants, he said.