EPA approves Heartland Corn Products’ efficient producer pathway

By Erin Voegele | June 22, 2016

The U.S. EPA recently approved an efficient producer fuel pathway for Heartland Corn Products’ 104 MMgy ethanol plant in Winthrop, Minnesota. The facility is the 54th facility to achieve an efficient producer pathway approval.

Plants that have approved efficient producer pathways are able to generate renewable identification numbers (RINs) for production volumes above those grandfathered under current renewable fuel standard (RFS) regulations. When the RFS was established in its current form, the rulemaking grandfathered in the production volume of existing corn ethanol plants. To qualify for compliance with the RFS program, any new production above the grandfathered gallons must meet a 20 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction threshold when compared to the program’s gasoline baseline. The efficient producer pathway petition process is designed to aid ethanol plants in gaining pathway approval for expanded production above those grandfathered volumes.

Information published by the EPA indicates Heartland Corn Products’ production results in a 21.4 percent carbon reduction when compared to baseline gasoline, compared to 16.8 percent for a standard natural gas-fired ethanol plant with 100 percent dry distillers grains and no advanced technologies.