Hastings-based Chief Ethanol Fuels is buying Corn Husker Energy of Lexington. State Ethanol Board administrator Todd Sneller says Chief’s expansion is a positive development for Nebraska’s ethanol industry.
“The Corn Husker ethanol plant provides some excellent synergy in terms of supply of corn between the two geographic locations,” Sneller says. “Both plants will continue to operate and it provides an excellent opportunity for them to further expand their livestock feed business.”
Chief Ethanol has been in business since 1984 and is the longest operating ethanol plant in Nebraska. Sneller says Chief’s leaders are very familiar with the Lexington area.
“This is going to work out very well for them in terms of how they allocate their distillers feed marketing, how they manage their transportation and rail to the West Coast and to other markets,” Sneller says.
Combining the Hastings facility with the Lexington plant will give the company a production capacity approaching 200-million gallons a year.
“Chief was about 70-million gallons a year and Lexington has been showing the capability of operating near 100-million gallons when it’s fully operational,” he says. “It will be a nice opportunity for them to get into additional ethanol markets.”
Sneller says Chief Ethanol Fuels was the first dry mill ethanol plant in Nebraska. The company’s general manager, Duane Kristensen, serves as vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol’s board of directors.
Nebraska is the nation’s number-two ethanol producer, behind only Iowa. There are 24 ethanol plants in Nebraska that produce a total of more than two-billion gallons each year.
by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton