VERBIO Closes on DuPont Cellulosic Plant

Cindy Zimmerman

VERBIO North America Corporation (VNA), the U.S. subsidiary of German bioenergy producer VERBIO Vereinigte BioEnergie AG, has completed the purchase of DuPont’s Nevada, Iowa-based cellulosic ethanol plant and a portion of its corn stover inventory.

VNA president Greg Northrup says the company will now finalize its plans to install facilities to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) made from corn stover and other cellulosic crop residues at the site. Phase I construction will begin as soon as all appropriate permits have been obtained. VNA plans to use some 100,000 tons of the corn stover inventory to make renewable natural gas.

As part of the transaction, DuPont will repay the state of Iowa $10.5 million of incentives it was granted in 2011 to build the facility and the Iowa Economic Development Board will provide VNA with $1.78 million in tax credits. The board says the investment will go toward converting the plant to utilize the VERBIO RNG technology.

Cellulosic, Ethanol, Natural Gas

Ethanol Report from 2018 NAFB Convention

Cindy Zimmerman

The new president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) met with farm broadcasters from around the country recently at the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk. While Geoff Cooper has been with RFA since 2008, it was the first time he had the opportunity to talk with the ag media as CEO.

Among the topics he discussed were the process of getting E15 approved year round, record production and exports for 2018, and the crazy year it has been for the industry.

Listen here – Ethanol Report from 2018 NAFB Convention

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Audio, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFA

New NCGA CEO Talks Corn Issues at #NAFB18

cindy zimmerman

Jon Doggett participated in his first NAFB Trade Talk this year as CEO of the National Corn Growers Association.

Doggett is no stranger to farm broadcasters, having served as head of NCGA’s policy efforts in Washington D.C. since 2002 and becoming executive vice president in 2014. But he was just officially named CEO in September. “I thought I was traveling a lot before but I’m seeing a lot more of that,” he said.

The biggest issue on the plate for corn growers right now is getting a farm bill passed. “Farm prices are half of what they were a few years ago. We need to get a farm bill done now,” said Doggett.

Doggett comments on a number of issues in this interview, including the mid-term elections, trade policy, and getting year-round E15 approved. NAFB18 Interview with Jon Doggett, NCGA CEO

2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention Photo Album

AgWired Energy, Audio, corn, NAFB, NCGA

3rd Pink at the Pump Campaign Raises $17,000

Cindy Zimmerman

Drivers choosing E15 across Iowa, North Dakota, and Missouri raised $17,000 in October for breast cancer support services and research as part of the 3rd annual Pink at the Pump® campaign, co-sponsored by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) and Iowa Corn Promotion Board. The North Dakota Ethanol Council and Missouri Corn Growers Association also joined the campaign this year.

Fifty-one Iowa E15 retail stations donated three cents of every gallon of E15 sold from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 to National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and The Hormel Institute.

“Pink at the Pump® is a unique campaign that brings together E15 retailers and their customers to support a very worthwhile cause,” said IRFA Managing Director Lucy Norton. “We are proud to provide donations to breast cancer researchers and service providers through the success of Pink at the Pump®.”

NBCF provides help and inspires hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services. The Hormel Institute is a global, cutting-edge research facility with a seven-decade history of making significant scientific discoveries on better ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

Driving Ethanol Series on 10 Years of Growth Energy

Cindy Zimmerman

Growth Energy was created in November 2008 and so is celebrating ten years of advocating for ethanol this month. This edition of the Driving Ethanol podcast is the first in a series of three focusing on a decade of accomplishments for the organization.

This podcast includes historical comments from the early years with industry leaders, including Greg Krissek, who was with ethanol plant engineering firm ICM, Inc at the time, first Growth Energy co-chairs Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark and former Rep. Jim Nussle of Iowa, first CEO Tom Buis and current CEO Emily Skor, and President Barack Obama.

Listen here: Growth Energy Driving Ethanol podcast 11-19-18

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Audio, Driving Ethanol podcast, Ethanol, Growth Energy

RFA Welcomes New Members

Cindy Zimmerman

Six new member companies have joined the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) for the new year, including a new ethanol plant under construction in Kansas, a cellulosic ethanol facility soon to begin construction in North Dakota, and four associate members who provide goods and services to the industry.

The new RFA members are:

ELEMENT LLC, a partnership between ICM, Inc. and The Andersons, building a 70 million gallon per year biorefinery in Colwich, Kansas that will use ICM’s patent-pending Generation 1.5 Grain Fiber to Cellulosic Ethanol Technology™ to produce more than five million gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually.

New Energy Blue – building a 16 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant in the Spiritwood Energy Park near Jamestown, N.D. The plant will use 280,000 tons per year of North Dakota wheat straw as its main feedstock and sell its biofuel into the California market under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

Associate member GROWMARK – an agricultural cooperative that offers a full line of energy products and recently announced offering pre-blended E15 at company-owned terminals in Amboy, Ashkum, and Petersburg, Ill., Fort Dodge, Iowa, and St. Joseph, Mo.

Associate member BetaTec Hop Products provides natural, customized solutions for controlling bacteria and enhancing fermentation for ethanol producers. It is a division of the world’s largest hops supplier, the Barth-Haas Group.

Associate member Renew Kansas represents the state’s independent ethanol producers, as well as farmers and those who provide services to the ethanol production industry in Kansas.

Associate member RSM US LLP is the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 43,000 people in over 120 countries.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

ACE Talks Ethanol with Farm Broadcasters

Cindy Zimmerman

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) participated in the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s famous Trade Talk this year for the first time.

ACE CEO Brian Jennings says they were thrilled with the experience of being able to meet and talk with dozens of farm broadcasters around the country all in one place.

The main topic of discussion was the administration’s support of changing outdated rules to allow E15 to be sold year round, which Jennings says will be great if EPA can get it done next year in time for the summer driving season. “We’ve got to keep EPA’s feet to the fire, they tend to slow walk things,” said Jennings.

Listen to my interview with Jennings here: NAFB18 Interview with Brian Jennings, ACE

2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

ACE, Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NAFB

Nebraska Ethanol Fuels Cancer Center Donation

Cindy Zimmerman

Nebraska drivers raised more than $6,100 in October for cancer research by choosing American Ethanol blends at retail stations participating in Fuel the Cure.

Fuel the Cure is a Nebraska awareness promotion designed to bring attention to the benefits of cleaner-burning American Ethanol blends available throughout the state. For every gallon of ethanol-blended fuel – E15 to flex fuel E85 – purchased between Oct. 1-31, the participating fuel station donated 3 cents per gallon with proceeds benefiting the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.

While biofuels and cancer research may seem like an unlikely pairing, research shows that using more biofuels leads to less air pollution. According to the American Lung Association, up to 70 percent of ground-level ozone-forming pollutants come from mobile-source emissions.

Representatives from the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Corn Board and Renewable Fuels Nebraska presented a donation check to the Cancer Center this week. Pictured here are (LtoR) Roger Berry, director of market development with the Nebraska Corn Board; Sarah Caswell, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Ashley Christensen, University of Nebraska Foundation director of development for the Buffett Cancer Center; Megan Grimes, program manager with the Nebraska Ethanol Board; Jan tenBensel, chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board; Scott McPheeters, vice-chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

Ethanol, Ethanol News

Biodiesel Industry Elects New Board Leadership

Cindy Zimmerman

National Biodiesel Board members have elected their trade association leadership for the coming year, reflecting the wide range of member companies in the biodiesel industry from feedstock operations to producers.

NBB members voted to fill eight board member spots for two-year terms:

Troy Alberts, Ag Environmental Products
Rob Shaffer, American Soybean Association
Jeff Lynn, Illinois Soybean Association
Tim Keaveney, Lake Erie Biofuels DBA Hero BX
Mike Rath, Darling Ingredients Inc.
Greg Anderson, Nebraska Soybean Board
Robert Morton, Newport Biodiesel LLC
Tom Brooks, Western Dubuque Biodiesel, LLC

Kent Engelbrecht, Ron Heck, Ryan Pederson, Harry Simpson, Paul Soanes, Robert Stobaugh, and Chad Stone continue to serve on the board. The board also voted to re-elect Engelbrecht as chairman, Stone as Vice Chairman, Pederson as Treasurer, and Heck as Secretary.

Biodiesel, NBB

Biodiesel Board Meets Farm Broadcasters

Cindy Zimmerman

Once again, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) attended the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual Trade Talk in Kansas City to do interviews with agricultural reporters around the country on a variety of topics.

Meeting the media were NBB Communications Director Kaleb Little, Nebraska Soybean Market Development Coordinator Cale Buhr, NBB Director of Outreach and Development Tom Verry, and NBB Treasurer and Nebraska farmer Greg Anderson.

In this interview, Little talks about a number of biodiesel issues, including the continuing need to address the biodiesel tax incentive that is always being retroactively renewed by Congress, providing no stability for the industry. He also promotes the 2019 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo coming up January 21-24 in San Diego.

Listen here – NAFB18 Interview with Kaleb Little, National Biodiesel Board

2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Audio, Biodiesel, NAFB, National Biodiesel Conference, NBB