Alliance BioEnergy Reports Successful Cellulosic Pilot

Alliance BioEnergy + has been developing bolt-on cellulosic ethanol technology and the company has announced that its results from the testing of its pilot plant are positive. The tests looked at distillers grains (DDGs) and corn kernel fiber and it ability to be converted to cellulosic ethanol using the CoPro Max separation unit designed in conjunction with Harvest Technology. The two byproducts can be converted into cellulosic ethanol, adding millions of gallons of additional ethanol production to an existing facility.

alliance-bioThe pilot testing has demonstrated that the corn kernel fiber is an ideal feedstocks when used in the CTS process and converts nearly 100 percent of the available sugars in as little as 12 minutes, according to Alliance BioEnergy. When combined with the CoPro Max system (to an 100 million gallons per year) corn ethanol plant), the company is reporting the CTS process adds nearly 12 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol to the plant and recovers most all of the highly valuable corn oil and proteins, from the DDGs. In addition, Alliance BioEnergy is reporting the sale of the additional ethanol, corn oil and proteins as well as cellulosic credits could add an additional $48 million to the bottom-line of a typical 100 mmgy corn ethanol plant.

Advantages of the bolt-on technology, says Alliance, include no need to purchase or transport feedstock to the plant nor is there a pre-treatment process.

Alliance BioEnergy is reporting its intentions to build and install the first unit in an existing ethanol plant this year and begin marketing the combined unit to U.S. ethanol plants later this year.

Grains Council CEO at #ACE16DC

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is a new member of the U.S. Grains Council, recognizing the important role that organization plays in the promoting exports of both ethanol and the livestock feed co-product DDGS.

ace16dc-sleight“We have a unified (ethanol) industry effort working together to build exports,” said USGC president and CEO Tom Sleight who visited with members of ACE in Washington DC last week for their annual legislative fly-in. “For 15, 20 years we’ve been doing DDGS and now for about three years we’ve been looking at ethanol and the effort is going farther and faster then I thought it would, again because of the strong cooperation we’re getting from the full ethanol industry.”

Sleight says China, Japan, Mexico and India are top priorities for U.S. ethanol exports. Secondary markets include Canada, Philippines, Colombia, and Peru.

In this interview, Sleight also discusses the U.S. DDGS market outlook and upcoming Export Exchange this year to bring buyers and sellers of DDGS together. Interview with Tom Sleight, USGC

ACE 2016 DC Fly-in Photo Album

#ACE16DC Gets Update on China DDGs Investigation

Back in January, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) initiated an investigation into anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of U.S. produced distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). The U.S. Grains Council has been on top of the situation from the start and provided an update for members of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) meeting in Washington DC this week.

ace16dc-erbUSGC Director of Industry Relations Lyndsey Erb says the issue is important because China is such a huge market for the ethanol co-product used as animal feed. “China had been the largest importer of U.S. DDGS, taking 56% of exportable supplies last year,” said Erb. USGC has been coordinating the response from the U.S. ethanol industry to provide the information needed to help address the concerns and get China back in the market.

“We’re still very much in the beginning stages,” Erb says. “Ultimately the case has to wrap up between a year and a year and a half after the initiation so we still have a long road ahead of us in this case but such a large percentage of the U.S. industry is joining the Grains Council to fight that we are optimistic we can put together a good defense.”

Erb explains more in this interview: Interview with Lyndsey Erb, USGC

ACE 2016 DC Fly-in Photo Album

Latest #Ethanol Trade Statistics

The latest ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) export numbers show Brazil is importing more U.S. ethanol as exports of DDGS continue to decline.

rfa-annAccording to Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) analyst Ann Lewis, exports of U.S. ethanol totaled 67.0 million gallons in February, down 23% from January’s 14-month high. “Brazil overtook recent leaders Canada and China as the top destination for U.S. product in February,” Lewis reports. Brazil imported over 22 million gallons of U.S. ethanol in February while exports to Canada were 14.5 mg, up 6% over January volumes and exports to China totaled 8.9 mg, down from 29.4 mg in January. On the import side, only marginal volumes of foreign-produced fuel ethanol have entered the United States so far this year.

Exports of DDGS continued to fall in February, to 785,383 metric tons with China remaining the top destination. Exports of U.S. DDGS to Mexico were down 26%. Other top customers were Vietnam, Thailand, Canada, and South Korea.

Alliance BioEnergy Touts CoProMax

Alliance BioEnergy Plus is touting the benefits of Harvesting Technology CoProMax for an ethanol plant. When combined with the ALLM CTS process, the company reports a 55 million gallon per year (mmgy) biorefinery can add more than $17 million to the bottom line to a corn ethanol plant without bringing in outside feedstock.

alliance-bioAccording to Alliance BioEnergy, the CoProMax system eliminates the production of thin stillage and utilizes a unique method to extract nearly three times the high value Distillers Corn Oil (DCO) other than what is typical with average production practices. In addition the process provides both a high protein, high fiber distillers grain (with protein levels in excess of 45 percent and containing three quarters of the available corn kernel fiber). The DDGs with high levels of corn kernel fiber can be converted through the CTS unit, extracting even more DCO and adding millions of gallons of cellulosic ethanol output says the company.

The company also says this technology eliminates the need to transport 1,000s of tons of feedstock per day saving costs. In addition, without the feedstock there is no need to add expensive material handling or pretreatment processes.

Alliance BioEnergy says the combined CTS/CoProMax system allows an existing corn ethanol plant the ability to produce cellulosic ethanol by offering both low capital and operating expenses while retaining the ability to expand and add outside feedstocks for additional cellulosic ethanol output.

China Leads in U.S. Ethanol Exports

According to Ann Lewis, research analyst with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), U.S. ethanol exports increased by 7 percent over December 2015 kicking off 2016 with a strong start. Using U.S. data, the increase marked a 14-month high with the industry shipping 87.1 million gallons (mg), with China taking the lead with a third of the market at 29.4 mg—rivaling the record of 32.6 mg to China last October.

During the same time frame, Canada received just 13.7 mg—the lowest volume of exports north of the border since October 2010. The United Arab Emirates (10.9 mg) and South Korea (10.4 mg) were other top markets in January. Brazil brought in a fairly sizable volume (6.6 mg) considering its recent absenteeism from the U.S. export picture. January’s robust exports equate to 1.05 billion gallons on an annualized basis.

Monthly US Exports Jan 2016Denatured fuel ethanol exports saw a 29 percent month-on-month increase to 65.0 mg in January. China grabbed 29.4 mg (45%) of that market, with Canada (12.2 mg, or 19%), the UAE (8.1 mg, or 12%) and South Korea (5.9 mg, or 9%). Lewis reports that January exports of undenatured ethanol for fuel use fell 29 percent from December to 20.2 mg. Brazil (6.6 mg) and South Korea (4.5 mg) received 55% of undenatured fuel exports, while the Philippines (2.9 mg), the UAE (2.8 mg), Mexico (2.2 mg) and Peru (1.1 mg) rounded out the list. Sales of undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use crashed to the lowest level since February 2013, dipping 64 percent to 212,369 gallons. Similarly, denatured non-fuel use ethanol exports slumped 21 percent to 1.7 mg—the lowest volume in over a year. The U.S. kept exports of non-fuel product close to home with 78 percent of total shipping to Canada and 9 percent to Mexico.

The U.S. imported just a splash of ethanol for fuel use in January. Inbound shipments came from Canada (500 gallons) and the Netherlands (165 gallons). Given the paltry import figure, January U.S. net exports of 87.1 mg were the highest since the record month of December 2011.

January exports of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGs) fell 19 percent from January to 800,580 metric tons (mt). DDGS exports to China tallied at 218,961 mt, representing a 3 percent decrease over December volumes but an increase in market share (27% of total U.S. exports vs. 23% in December). On a side note, these volumes were recorded despite the country opening an anti-dumping case against the U.S. for DDGs. Other export markets included Mexico at 195,669 mt, Ireland at 48,456 mt, Canada at 47,617 mt, Thailand at 46,838, Vietnam at 45,744 mt and South Korea at 45,046 mt.

Admin Takes Swift Action on China Antidumping Case

The U.S. ethanol industry recently called on the Obama administration to take quick action against China who has opened an antidumping case on U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGs). In the letter, the groups asked for swift action to “mount an aggressive defense of our access to the Chinese livestock feed market.”

This week the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) as well as the Department of Commerce contacted the appropriate Chinese officials, expressing their concern over the process and sampling methodology utilized in selecting U.S. companies for participation in the antidumping and countervailing duty cases.

Following the decisive response, Growth Energy and RFA praised the administration for action to defend the U.S. DDG industry.

growth-energy-logo1Tom Buis, co-chair of Growth Energy noted, “I would like to commend President Obama and his administration for taking immediate action to protect the U.S distiller’s grains industry. The simple fact is that there is no reason the People’s Republic of China should file a case like this – it is counterproductive, disrupts trade and produces uncertainty throughout the domestic ethanol industry. Growth Energy and its members are grateful for the position this administration has taken to ensure that unnecessary trade restrictions such as this anti-dumping and countervailing duty case are resolved as quickly as possible.”

rfalogo1“I congratulate and appreciate the administration for getting involved in this crucial issue,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “I am glad both the United States Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce are recognizing the urgent need to address our concerns. I look forward to a quick resolution of these cases and returning to fair trade of the U.S. distillers dried grains industry.”

Growth, RFA Urge U.S. to Action Against China

Back on January 12, 2016, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) filed antidumping and countervailing duty cases against the U.S. distiller’s dried grains industry (DDG). This was not the first time the MOFCOM has filed antidumping charges against the U.S.; however, all earlier cases were dropped.

Photo Credit: Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)

Photo Credit: Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)

Yesterday the ethanol industry including Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), called upon the U.S. government to take action against China on the current DDGs antidumping case. The groups sent a letter to President Obama calling for action through the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Department of Commerce and Department of Agriculture “to challenge both the process and preliminary determinations made by China’s investigating authority through comments to MOFCOM and through the World Trade Organization.”

The letter stated, “The uncertainty and market risk resulting from China’s actions has already triggered substantial financial losses for U.S. distiller’s grains producers. Distiller’s grains prices have plunged more than 25 percent since last summer, while prices for corn and other feedstuffs have been stable or even increased slightly. At a time when both U.S. ethanol producers and farmers are facing serious economic challenges, it is estimated that China’s actions have already resulted in distillers grains losing $30-35/ton in value. This is equivalent to an annualized aggregate loss of $1.2 to $1.6 billion to U.S. ethanol producers, many of whom are small businesses in rural America. Losses would mount further, potentially to $50-60/ton or more, if the anti-dumping and countervailing duty actions ultimately result in a total collapse of distillers grains exports to China, meaning a loss to the U.S. economy of more than $2 billion.”

The letter concluded by asking President Obama to “work closely with the U.S. distiller’s grains industry to mount an aggressive defense of our access to the Chinese livestock feed market throughout China’s antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.”

US Grains Releases New Portal, App

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has released a grains conversion calculator app and a U.S. grains-in-all-forms exports portal to help members of the global grain trade access critical information more easily. The U.S. grains-in-all-forms exports portal is an online calculator that converts volumes of exported U.S. commodities including ethanol and dried distillers grains (DDGs) into corn equivalents. This offers a different and holistic view of the amount of feed grains produced by U.S. farmers that are consumed by overseas customers.

screen568x568“We are excited to expand our digital presence to include these products that will be helpful for both domestic and international stakeholders,” said USGC Chairman Alan Tiemann, who farms in Nebraska. “The grains conversion app and the grains-in-all-forms portal are cutting-edge resources that contain information, trends and statistics that will help the global grain trade work and grow.”

The Council’s grains conversion app converts English units to metric units and vice versa for grains and related measures. The app is available to download for free in the appropriate app stores for Apple, Android and Windows platforms. It also includes an option to switch between multiple languages including English, Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, French and Korean.

Panelists Discuss E15 Revolution, Global Markets

Panelists discussed the “E15 Revolution” during the Growth Energy Leadership Conference held in Orlando this week. The retailer discussion focused on their efforts to help grow the consumer availability of E15 across the country.

Todd GarnerPanelists included Jim Pirolli, VP Fuels for Kum-N-Go; Mike Lorenz, Executive VP of Petroleum Supply; and Todd Garner, CEO of Protec Fuels.

When discussing the changing marketplace, Lorenz commented that initial sales have exceeded expectations, even before kicking off a marketing campaign around E15. “The consumers are finding it on their own, and sales are increasing.” Pirolli seconded this statement by adding, “When it comes to consumer choice, they’re going to go with a higher performance, better value product.”

To learn more about how retailers are marketing E15, listen to Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Protec’s Todd Garner, who he saw on a similar panel at the National Ethanol Conference the week before: Interview with Todd Garner, Protec

Another interesting panel discussion took place around “Ethanol on the World Stage”. The discussion focused on the important role that ethanol plays in the global marketplace and the need to take advantage of every opportunity to expand ethanol utilization worldwide. Panelists discussed the importance of trade missions to identify new markets and expand existing opportunities. Also discussed were increased opportunities to export dried distillers grains (DDGs).

The panel was moderated by Ray Defenbaugh, CEO & Chairman of Big River Resources, LLC. Panelists included Paul Trupo, Director of the USDA FAS Global Policy Analysis Division; Joel Williams, Manager of Ethanol Trading at ADM; Mark Marquis, CEO of Marquis Energy, LLC; Amit Sachdev, South Asia Representative (India Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) at the U.S. Grains Council; and Junyang Jiang, Deputy Director of the U.S. Grains Council China World Office.

During the discussion, Ray Defenbaugh stressed the importance of the partnership with the U.S Grains Council, as it is helping create new opportunities across the globe for exports. During the panel, it was announced by Mark Marquis, a board member of Growth Energy, that Growth Energy has set a goal to export at least 2 billion gallons of fuel ethanol by 2022, calling the program, “At Least 2 by 22.”