Business Briefs

Ethanol industry business announcements from the May issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine, including news from ACE Ethanol LLC and D3MAX, the U.S. Grains Council, and ERI Solutions.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | May 03, 2020

Ace Ethanol receives Part 80 registration for D3MAX plant

Ace Ethanol in Stanley, Wisconsin, has been granted Part 80 registration by the U.S. EPA for its D3MAX facility. With the EPA approval, Ace Ethanol can now produce cellulosic ethanol from corn kernel fiber and generate D3 renewable identification numbers (RINs).

“Receiving Part 80 registration approval from EPA for the D3MAX plant at Ace Ethanol in Stanley, Wisconsin, is the last major hurdle for the first commercial D3MAX plant,” said Mark Yancey, chief technology officer for D3MAX. “With this EPA approval, Ace can now begin to sell cellulosic ethanol and generate D3 RINs by converting their corn kernel fiber to ethanol.”

Ace Ethanol owns and operates the plant, which utilizes D3MAX technology under license. Construction of the plant was completed earlier this year and the facility has been successfully operating for several months.

“Ace Ethanol has done a tremendous job in commissioning and starting up the first commercial D3MAX plant,” Yancey said. “January is not the best time to start up a new process in Wisconsin as the brutally cold weather froze lines and made start up more difficult. The Ace startup team worked very long hours and did a fantastic job. Within weeks, the D3MAX plant was operating at 80 percent of design capacity and 70 percent of design yield, which is quite the achievement for the startup of a new cellulosic ethanol process.”

USGC announces new global programs coordinator

Sadie Marks joined the U.S. Grains Council as the global programs coordinator in the organization’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

In this role, Marks will provide administrative support to the global programs team as well as USGC’s overseas offices, handling details, logistics and follow-up needs associated with USGC programs and consultants.

“We are excited to have Sadie join the global programs team,” said Cary Sifferath, USGC senior director of global programs. “Her addition brings us to a fully-staffed department as we ramp up programming globally in 2020.”

Before joining USGC, Marks worked in the dean’s office of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois while she finished her bachelor’s degree in agricultural and consumer economics and minor in international development.

She also worked as an intern at the National Association of Conservation Districts in Washington, D.C., last summer and has studied and worked abroad in Kenya, Ireland, Israel and the Dominican Republic.

ERI Solutions acquires Bloc Environmental Solutions

ERI Solutions LLC acquired Bloc Environmental Solutions LP, a San Antonio, Texas-based health, safety and environmental compliance services provider. “Bloc’s great industry reputation, service offerings, top-notch team and better-than-average service delivery made them a top target for ERI,” said Nathan VanderGriend, president and CEO of ERI. “We believe that with this integration that 1 + 1 = 3+ and the acquisition will lead to business growth providing opportunities for the members of the team to grow professionally and for our shareholders’ value to increase.” 

“We are excited about our future together with ERI,” said Colin K. Sheffield, president and CEO of Bloc. “Our customers can still expect excellent service as we strengthen our companies with a more diverse service line.” The two companies have shared values and a vision to bring the best risk control and compliance services to the market as they combine their product lines.

ERI will maintain its headquarters in Colwich, Kansas, and continue to operate remotely out of multiple locations, including those acquired with Bloc. All Bloc owners and team members will come over to ERI as part of the transaction. Bloc will continue under the current brand as a division of ERI for the immediate future.