A new product, a new revenue stream, and a $50 million investment for a Nebraska ethanol plant could well be a look into the future for the ethanol industry.
Flint Hills Resources will make the $50 million upgrade in technology to its Fairmont ethanol plant to produce high protein animal and fish feed from its distiller grains, a by-product of ethanol production.
Fluid Quip Process has put the patented technology to the test in two other locations, but never at this scale.
“Our plant will challenge Fluid Quip to do it at pretty much 2x the volume,” Plant Manager Kevin Karasiuk tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The new patented technology is called Maximized Stillage Co-Productsä (MSC), developed exclusively for the dry mill ethanol industry by Fluid Quip. It has been tested on a smaller scale in Wisconsin and Brazil. It separates the protein from distiller grains into two groups; one with higher protein.
It will take a new two-story building to process this new product, creating an estimated 120 construction jobs at its peak. It should take a year to build.
Karasiuk says he’s excited, because this investment go have gone elsewhere.
“Oh, absolutely. We as a plant, I think you can imagine, for 60 employees at this plant that in their community seeing something of this scale of investment is really exciting for the employees, it’s real exciting for the community,” Karasiuk says.
Karasiuk says such products can increase the profitability of ethanol plants without having to increase capacity.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]