Nebraska Ethanol Growth

Cindy Zimmerman

NE EthanolThe number of ethanol plants operating, under construction or being planned in Nebraska continues to grow.

The latest map from the Renewable Fuels Association posted last week has Nebraska with ten operating plants and nine under construction. But, that’s apparently already out of date as plants keep popping up like prairie dogs in the Cornhusker State.

The Omaha World Herald reports that there are 12 operating and ten being built, with 30 more in the planning stages according to the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

If all the proposed plants were built, combined with those currently in operation, Nebraska would be propelled from the third to the No. 1 state in ethanol production. At full capacity, the 52 plants would produce 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol annually.

They also would consume 1.4 billion bushels of corn – about 180 million bushels more than the state’s farmers expect to harvest in 2006.

Another story from the Herald reports that Gov. Dave Heineman said Nebraska has more plants under production than any other state and called ethanol “the greatest economic development opportunity for rural Nebraska in a decade.”

Heineman said that the people investing in ethanol are smart and that he doesn’t think they are overbuilding.

“At some point could we build too many ethanol plants? I suppose,” said Heineman, who is due to become chairman of the Governors Ethanol Coalition in January. “But I think that is way in the future.”

Links to the Omaha World Herald articles require registration to view.

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