For the third year in a row, U.S. ethanol production capacity has increased. At the beginning of 2016, production was nearly 15 billion gallons per year, or 973,000 barrels per day (b/d) according to a recent Today in Energy published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The U.S. Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity report found that total capacity of operable ethanol plants increased by more than 500 million gallons per year in January 2016 compared with January 2015.
The majority of the 195 ethanol plants, and most of the U.S. fuel ethanol production capacity, are located in the Midwest region with total nameplate capacity in the Midwest at 13.5 billion gallons per year (883,000 b/d), an increase of more than 500 million gallons compared with 2015. Of the top 13 fuel ethanol-producing states, 12 are located in the Midwest.
Actual U.S. production of fuel ethanol reached a total of 14.8 billion gallons (966,000 b/d) in 2015. In EIA’s August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), U.S. production of fuel ethanol was forecast to reach 15.1 billion gallons (982,000 b/d) in 2016, equivalent to slightly more than 100% utilization of reported nameplate capacity as of January 1, 2016.