Growth Energy Celebrates 10th Anniversary

cindy zimmerman

Growth Energy was first announced this month in 2008 so they are now officially 10 years old. At the NAFB Convention Trade Talk last week, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor shared some of the many accomplishments the organization has made over the last decade, from promoting the performance value of ethanol through NASCAR, to growing international and domestic markets and advocating for sound biofuels policy.

We are creating a three-part Driving Ethanol podcast series on the 10th anniversary of Growth Energy, including some archived interviewed with the founders of the organization and early advocacy efforts, but want to share the entire interview with Emily from NAFB where she talks about the progress they have made in the past decade.

Listen here: NAFB18 Interview with Emily Skor, Growth Energy

2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the NAFB Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the NAFB Convention is sponsored by FMC
AgWired Energy, Audio, Ethanol, Growth Energy, NAFB

Plastics-to-Fuel Plant Planned for Indiana

Cindy Zimmerman

The first commercial plastics-to-fuel plant is in the making to be located in Indiana.

San Francisco-based renewable energy development company Brightmark Energy has acquired a majority interest and invested $10 million in plastics-to-fuel technology company RES Polyflow, while committing to an additional $47 million investment in the first plant.

RES Polyflow, based in Ohio, innovated the process for converting plastics directly into transportation fuel and other products. RES Polyflow’s plastics-to-fuel process sustainably recycles waste such as plastic film, flexible packing, and toys.

The facility will be located in Ashley, Indiana and will convert 100,000 tons of plastic waste into 18 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and naphtha blend stocks and five million gallons of wax per year, more than the weight of 5,400 tractor trailers or seven Brooklyn Bridges.

Alternative energy

German Company Buys DuPont Cellulosic Plant

Cindy Zimmerman

VERBIO North America Corporation (VNA), the U.S. subsidiary of leading German bioenergy producer VERBIO Vereinigte BioEnergie AG (VERBIO), has agreed to acquire the DuPont cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa that was shut down and put up for sale last year.

VNA also purchased a portion of the plant’s corn stover inventory and intends to install facilities to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) made from corn stover and other cellulosic crop residues at the site. This would be VERBIO’s third production facility devoted to this cellulosic technology – in 2014, the company commissioned its first facility in Schwedt, Germany, and its second facility in Pinnow, Germany is currently being commissioned.

“The DuPont facility in Nevada, Iowa offers excellent infrastructure to construct our first RNG facility outside Germany. We can use part of the installed equipment for our production and there is a solid base of local farmers from whom to procure the raw materials. Once the plant is in operation, it offers the Nevada, IA community new agricultural revenue streams, new employment opportunities and new sources of tax revenues,” said Claus Sauter, CEO of VERBIO.

“We’re very confident in VNA’s ability to take over operations of the Nevada plant.” said Jan Koninckx, Global Business Director of Biofuels, DuPont. “This community has been very supportive during our time in Story County. We thank the many people who were instrumental to our operations, and we wish VNA well.”

Following its merger with Dow in 2017, DuPont announced a strategic shift within the cellulosic biofuels market and began to seek a buyer for the biorefinery. DuPont continues to participate in the overall biofuels market through specialty offerings, including both first- and second-generation biofuel enzymes and engineered yeast solutions that improve yield and productivity for biofuel producers.

Cellulosic, Dupont, Ethanol, Ethanol News

NBB Opposes Review of Biodiesel Import Duties

Cindy Zimmerman

Biodiesel stakeholders are opposing an “unprecedented review” of biodiesel import duties being conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce at the request of Argentina.

The department last week granted a request from the government of Argentina to initiate “changed circumstances” reviews of U.S. trade duties imposed on Argentine biodiesel companies, after imposing antidumping and countervailing duty orders earlier this year following investigations that determined biodiesel imports from Argentina were massively subsidized and dumped, injuring U.S. biodiesel producers.

The National Biodiesel Board’s Fair Trade Coalition urged Commerce to reject Argentina’s request and opposes Commerce’s initiation of the reviews, which could result in resetting the duty rates Commerce calculated only months ago.

“The Commerce Department has no basis for initiating this unprecedented review,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Commerce has established procedures for conducting reviews with extensive fact-finding for the very purpose of revisiting antidumping and countervailing duty rates but has never used “changed circumstances” reviews for these purposes. Commerce’s initiation of these reviews just months after finding that Argentina has engaged in unfair trade practices creates a great deal of uncertainty for our industry at a time when the positive results of the original cases are just beginning to be realized.”

The Commerce Department’s changed circumstances review process typically takes 270 days, meaning a final determination could come by August 2019. The orders on biodiesel from Argentina imposed by Commerce earlier this year established final countervailing duty rates ranging from 71.45% to 72.28% and antidumping duty rates ranging from 60.44% to 86.41%.

Biodiesel, International, Trade

RFA’s Davis Reappointed to Export Advisory Committee

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis has been re-appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC), which advises the agency on U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services.

“I am honored to be reappointed to this committee,” said Davis, who is one of 39 members appointed last week. “The U.S. Department of Commerce helps facilitate export opportunities around the globe. U.S. ethanol exports have been a growing and significant market opportunity for our industry, and as the sole U.S. ethanol representative on REEEAC, I will continue to champion the role of biofuels in the global market.” Davis was first appointed to the committee in 2014.

Established in 2010, the REEEAC is composed of senior private sector representatives that provide advice to the Secretary of Commerce on the development and administration of programs and policies to expand the export competitiveness of U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, RFA, Trade

U.S. Drivers Hit Six Billion Miles on E15

Cindy Zimmerman

As the administration begins to move toward making E15 available year round, Growth Energy says American drivers have already driven a total of six billion so far on the 15% ethanol blend with no complaints.

“American drivers know a good value when they see it, which is precisely why once they try E15 they come back again and again,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “E15 provides unrivaled value for engines, the environment, and people’s wallets and we’re seeing more and more Americans rely on E15 to fuel their lives.”

E15 is approved for all 2001 and newer vehicles and major retailers like Kwik Trip, Sheetz, Casey’s, Cumberland Farms, Thorntons, Kum & Go, RaceTrac, QuikTrip, Rutter’s, Minnoco, Protec Fuel, Murphy USA, Family Express, and Cenex offer E15 at more than 1,600 stations across 30 states.

Skor talked about the new milestone a the National Association of Farm Broadcasting last week –
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor comments on six billion miles on E15

Audio, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy

RFA Displays Custom Ethanol Motorcycle at NAFB

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) was once again proud to be a sponsor of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual convention, this year having on display the new custom motorcycle built by Paul Teutul Jr. for the American Chopper TV series.

In one of many interviews with farm broadcasters at the annual Trade Talk, RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White discussed E15 expansion since the President Trump called on EPA to change the outdated Reid Vapor Pressure rule that keeps the blend from being sold in the summer months. He said they are encouraged by news like the announcement this week that GROWMARK will now offering pre-blended E15 at its company-owned terminals in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.

He also talks about the challenges ahead in getting the E15 rule approved before next summer, and the continued efforts by RFA to educate boaters and motorcyclists that all of their engines are approved to use up to a 10% ethanol blend but NOT E15.

Listen here: Interview with Robert White, RFA, at 2018 NAFB Convention

2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Audio, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Motorcycle, NAFB, RFA

NAFB is 75 Years Strong

cindy zimmerman

The 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention is marking the diamond anniversary of the meeting, which has been held in Kansas City for about 45 of those 75 years.

NAFB president Tom Cassidy, Ag Radio Network, says this year’s convention is the largest ever in the organization’s history, with many retired members who have been away from the business for years coming in for the celebration.

In this interview, Cassidy talks about this year’s meeting and the state of farm broadcasting.Interview with NAFB president Tom Cassidy, Ag Radio Network


2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, NAFB

Grains Council Officers Meet in Mexico

cindy zimmerman

U.S. Grains Council (USGC) officers headed south of the border last week to talk about the new trade agreement and meet with new government officials in the country that accounts for a big chunk of U.S. feed grains exports.

Leaders from the U.S. feed grains value chain traveled to Mexico on the heels of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) negotiations, and the new presidential administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, prepares to take office on Dec. 1.

While in the country, the joint leadership team visited with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) post in Mexico City; met with key customer organizations including the Mexican feed manufacturers’ council, known as CONAFAB; and made a stop at the Mexican grain trade association, known as APPAMEX. They also met with officials already appointed by the new president-elect, including Victor Villalobos, the incoming head of the agriculture department.

Mexico is the top export destination for U.S. corn, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and barley and a significant buyer of U.S. sorghum. The country also holds near-term potential for increased use of U.S. ethanol following energy policy changes in recent years.

AgWired Energy, corn, Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Exports, Grains, USGC

Kansas City Here We Come

cindy zimmerman

ZimmComm is headed out today to the 75th annual NAFB convention at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. We first started attending NAFB in the mid-1980s and have been there every year since 1987. But there are lots of NAFB members who have been faithfully attending the annual meeting since before it started being held in Kansas City. This year will be different for us since we’re bringing our fur baby with us because the Westin is so dog friendly and we will be seeing the grandbabies later this week!

The NAFB was founded in 1944 as the National Association of Radio Farm Directors (NARFD). Television was added to the name in 1955 to become NATRFD. The next name change came in 1964 to the more inclusive National Association of Farm Broadcasters and NAFB. In 2005, the name was changed from Broadcasters to Broadcasting.

There is a lot of history in the NAFB and we’ll be sharing some of it this week, thanks to the support of FMC – which has been a proud sponsor of Trade Talk for many years. Stay tuned for lots of photos and interviews!

Meanwhile, take a walk down memory lane from the past decade or so of NAFB meetings in the ZimmComm Flickr collection. See you in Kansas City to make new memories this week!

Coverage of the NAFB Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the NAFB Convention is sponsored by FMC
AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, NAFB