The co-founder of California’s first ethanol production company received the Renewable Fuels Association 2017 Industry Award in San Diego this week at the 22nd National Ethanol Conference.
Pacific Ethanol CEO Neil Koehler, who is also vice chairman of the RFA board of directors, was the co-founder and general manager of Parallel Products, California’s first ethanol production company, which made ethanol from beverage waste. He also founded Kinergy Marketing, an ethanol marketing company before forming Pacific Ethanol in 2003. Pacific Ethanol’s initial focus was on destination ethanol plants, building facilities on the U.S. West Coast, not in the traditional Midwest where the corn is grown. The company now owns eight biorefineries — in Oregon, Idaho, California, Nebraska and Illinois — with a combined production capacity of 515 million gallons per year.
“Neil has been a longtime fixture in the U.S. ethanol industry and consistently been an early adopter of new technologies,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Pacific Ethanol has helped to lead the industry in the transition to low carbon renewable fuels, and Neil has been one of our industry’s best and most vocal advocates. On behalf of the RFA, we congratulate Neil on his achievements. This award is well deserved.”
Listen to the award presentation here: Bob Dinneen, RFA and Neil Koehler, Pacific Ethanol