The state of Nebraska’s first ethanol plant, Chief Ethanol Fuels, shipped its one billionth gallon from its plant located in Hastings in Mid-February. One of the first biorefineries in the U.S., Chief Ethanol Fuels opened in 1984 with the capacity to produce ten million gallons per year. In 2011, they are expected to produced nearly 70 million gallons. Today, Chief is a major grain buyer in the state, providing a market for 25 million bushels of corn annually—about 80 percent of the crop grown in Adams County, where the facility is located. In addition to fuel ethanol, the plant also markets high protein distillers grains to local livestock feeders. More than one-third of the corn processed in the plant is returned to the feed sector in the form of distillers grain.
“Chief Ethanol’s long history parallels the growth of the industry across the state and nation,” said Steve Hanson, Chair to the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB). “They have a distinguished record of adding value to our abundant corn supplies, providing jobs in their community and helping to drive the agricultural economy of Nebraska.
Hanson continued, “Today, Nebraska is home to twenty-five ethanol plants that produce two billion gallons annually and employ thirteen hundred people. Chief’s success and leadership in the industry are major factors in Nebraska’s rank as the number two producing state in the nation. Without a doubt, renewable, home-grown ethanol is key to the nation’s energy future.”
Todd Sneller, Administrator of NEB added, “Chief Ethanol Fuels continues to invest capital, create jobs and add value to Nebraska agricultural products and the economy. Nebraska is fortunate to host a portfolio of ethanol producing plants that continue to stimulate the economy and stabilize our supply of renewable transportation fuels.”