A major change on the southern Minnesota ethanol landscape

The following is from Minnesota Corn Growers Association Allied Partner, Al-Corn Clean Fuel.

As an Allied Partner, Al-Corn Clean Fuel supports the work being done to identify and promote opportunities for corn farmers while improving quality of life. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association thanks Al-Corn Clean Fuel for its support.

If you have driven on U.S. Highway 14 between Owatonna and Rochester over the past year, it is likely you noticed a lot of changes to the Al-Corn Clean Fuel ethanol facility in Claremont. The recently completed expansion and modernization project increased production capacity from 50 million gallons a year to 130 million gallons per year and storage for 1.5 million bushels of corn to facilitate deliveries.

Annually Al-Corn Clean Fuel will grind 44 million bushels of corn and produces 130 million gallons of ethanol. The plant will also produce 310,000 tons of high-protein livestock feed and 28 million pounds of corn oil. While continuing to supply ethanol, corn oil and feed to the Minnesota market, Al-Corn Clean Fuel’s enhanced rail capacity allows their products access to the larger domestic and international markets.

“We saw an opportunity for Al-Corn Clean Fuel to continue playing an important role in the economic viability of agriculture and rural communities throughout the region” said Randall Doyal, CEO of Al-Corn Clean Fuel. “We continue to utilize the best available technologies in order to reduce energy consumption and production costs while at the same time increasing efficiencies and reducing emissions.”

Among the many benefits of the project design were the rail loading and shipping facility, as well as the combined heat and power turbine. The rail shipping capability was vital for taking advantage of other market opportunities, and the new facility allows for loading and shipping by unit trains, which is the lowest cost way to ship by rail.

The second design feature, aimed at lowering energy consumption and the plant’s carbon score, was the combined heat and power turbine. The turbine burns natural gas to generate electricity and the exhaust from the turbine provides heat for a boiler, producing steam for use in the plant. The turbine/generator produces over half of the electricity needed to operate the ethanol facility.

The turbine is also critically important in lowering the plant’s carbon score, which allows the company to qualify for EPAs Efficient Producer pathway, thereby generating additional RINs on the ethanol produced.

“With the modernization of the plant, the product is going to be even cleaner and greener, and it’s going to have an even smaller carbon footprint, as greater efficiencies are realized in the expanded and modernized plant” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota BioFuels Association.

With the expanded production capacity comes the need for additional bushels of corn. In anticipation of the need for an additional 25 to 27 million bushels of corn annually, the membership voted by an overwhelming majority in September of 2017 to convert from a cooperative to a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Al-Corn Clean Fuel will be acquiring all of its corn for operations on the open market through traditional pricing methods, as well as average pricing contracts and other methods as determined by management.

An integral part of these efforts is increased utilization of digital media and technology. The company now offers a free mobile app that allows sellers to check cash prices, view contracts, make offers and much more from their phone or tablet.

For additional information regarding Al-Corn Clean Fuel, please visit www.al-corn.com.

Did you like this article?

Share this post with your friends!