Nebraska Ethanol Industry Bounces Back

According to the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition (GBC), Nebraska’s ethanol industry has nearly recovered from the economic doldrums it faced last year and is back near full production capacity.

An important indicator that the ethanol industry is recovering, Todd Sneller said of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, is the “modest job increase” they saw in the ethanol industry while reviewing state ethanol data comparing 2008 to 2009.

ne-ethanol-brd“While overall it may only be a couple of dozen jobs on a statewide basis, it is an important signal because we were in a period of real economic turmoil in the ethanol sector, but yet we didn’t see layoffs in those plants, even the ones that went through bankruptcies, and in a couple of cases we saw companies use this time to modify their plants to create addition production capabilities, such as corn oil extraction,” Sneller said.

According to Sneller, during the last three to four months plants have been starting to operate much closer to their operational rate of capacity, so if they were operating at 70 percent to 80 percent of capacity, they are now operating “much closer to 100 percent of capacity.”

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