Ethanol in High Demand in North Dakota - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Ethanol in High Demand in North Dakota

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It's a product that's become popular at the pump.
Ethanol has become big business across North Dakota, which is now the home to 4 ethanol plants, and a future one being built.

You would think that a corn price that's now roughly half of what it was this fall, would create big profits in the Ethanol industry.
But, according to Jeff Zueger at Blue Flint Ethanol in Underwood, that's not the case.
(Jeff Zueger / Blue Flint Ethanol) "Profitability isn't so much about corn pricing, more so supply and demand. So we need to have strong market demand for our products. And the spread between gasoline and ethanol. We have had as strong relationship of lower prices ethanol compared to gasoline.
Blue Flint Ethanol produces 65 million gallons of ethanol a year.
That's 190-thousand gallons a day.
It takes roughly 23 million bushels of corn a year to make all that product.
Zueger says the hardest part is getting that corn here.
He says it's tough to compete with the oil industry for trains.
(Jeff Zueger / Blue Flint Ethanol) "One of the other things that has really set profitably the last six months of so is the availability of corn. As we transition from last year's corn crop which was really a challenge corn crop. Those who had readily access to corn had more opportunity to be profitable. Now that we have a strong production year and a great harvest throughout the United States, we are going to have a lot more corn carry out this next year."
(Sarah Gustin / sgustin@kxnet.com) "One product that's helped increase ethanol demand is a blend that was released this fall, E-15."
(Jeff Zueger / Blue Flint Ethanol) "Month after month we are seeing increased demand for the product. It's 20 cents cheaper per gallon that gasoline and that's really driving consumer choice. It takes time to move a new product in the market."
Currently, E-15 is only available at Petro Serve Pumps in West Fargo, Fargo and Bismarck.
Zueger says he excited for the product to become available at more pumps across the state.

Zueger says one threat to the ethanol industry is the EPA is proposing lowering the volume required in the Renewable Fuels Standard.
The EPA is taking public comment until January 28th.
Zueger encourages you to contact our representatives in D.C. as well as the EPA to make sure there is a choice at the pump.

 

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