Cargill subsidiary to develop four Midwest ethanol plants

by Ron Sterk
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MINNEAPOLIS — Emerald Renewable Energy L.L.C., a new wholly owned subsidiary of Cargill, said Monday it plans to develop four 100-million-gallon per year ethanol plants in the Midwest.

Emerald is considering several potential sites in the Corn Belt for the plants, including greenfield locations and co-locations with Cargill grain elevators and other utility infrastructure providers, the company said.

Each plant annually will use about 40 million bus of corn to produce 100 million gallons of ethanol and more than 300,000 tons of dry distillers grains for animal feed. There will be about 40 employees at each location.

Emerald will contract with Cargill for services, including corn, natural gas, price risk management and marketing of ethanol and distillers grains. The new company has an agreement with a global contractor, which along with Cargill will design and build the plants. Engineering and permitting efforts already have begun by the contractor. Emerald said it has nominated BNP Paribus as lead arranger and Santander Investment and Standard Chartered as senior co-lead arrangers for financing.

"Emerald Renewable Energy will have access to Cargill’s world-class expertise in trading, sourcing corn, plant construction and operations, risk management and bulk commodity transportation," said Scott Portnoy, Cargill corporate vice-president responsible for biofuels and bioproducts.

Emerald Renewable Energy is a privately held, limited liability company formed by Cargill to develop and invest in renewable energy products in the United States.

Cargill currently produces about 120 million gallons of ethanol annually at plants in Eddyville, Iowa, and Blair, Neb., has a biodiesel plant at Iowa Falls, Iowa, with capacity of about 38 million gallons, has a jointly owned biodiesel plant under construction in Kansas City, and has additional facilities for both fuels around the world. Cargill BioFuels is the exclusive service provider for three independent ethanol producers: Central Illinois Energy; BioFuel Energy, L.L.C.; and ASAlliances Biofuels, L.L.C.

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