Business Briefs

Industry news from the January issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine, including Element's shift to high-protein feed, Flint Hills Resources coming online with its second NexPro plant, Pacific Ethanol selling more assets, and more.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | December 28, 2020

Element shifts focus to high-protein animal feed
Element LLC in Colwich, Kansas, has been refocused to produce ANDVantage 50Y, a yeast-enriched 50% protein animal feed. The process utilizes three proprietary technologies from ICM: patented Selective Milling Technology, patented Fiber Separation Technology Next Gen and patent-pending Thin Stillage Solids Separation System.

Element, a joint venture between ICM Inc. and The Andersons Inc., became fully operational in 2019 and oriented its production to ANDVtantage 50Y after an operational pause in 2020. The feed, which will be marketed by The Andersons, has both higher protein and lower fiber than traditional ethanol coproducts.
“In addition to producing a high-quality combination of corn and yeast proteins, these processes deliver higher efficiencies and operational cost savings throughout the production process,” said ICM President Chris Mitchell.

FHR producing NexPro coproduct at second plant 
Flint Hills Resources is now producing and delivering its trademarked NexPro protein ingredient from its Shell Rock, Iowa, ethanol plant. The company installed Maximized Stillage Co-Products technology at the 125 MMgy plant earlier this year, making it the second FHR plant to install MSC under license from Fluid Quip Technologies.

NexPro protein ingredient will be used in a variety of animal feed rations globally. The product is made by extracting protein from an ethanol plant’s whole stillage. The process yields not only a 50% high-protein feed ingredient with premium market value, but also residual distillers grains and enhanced levels of distillers corn oil. NexPro will be sold locally, nationally, and internationally, competing against corn gluten meal, soy, corn protein concentrates and fishmeal.

Construction on cellulosic ethanol plant in Romania continues  
Clariant is progressing on schedule with the construction of a cellulosic ethanol plant in southwestern Romania, according to the company. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Clariant’s team has been able to ensure that the facility’s construction has carried on. To do so, the company has had to fully comply with all of Romania’s precautionary safety regulations.

The plant is being constructed on a 10-hectare plot of land in the town of Podari, where it has access to a secure regional supply of feedstock and the region’s existing logistic and industrial infrastructure.
Once operational, the facility will produce 50,000 metric tons of cellulosic ethanol annually from approximately 250,000 metric tons of straw. The plant’s construction  is expected to be complete by the end of 2021.

Pacific Ethanol sells Idaho grain handling facilities
Pacific Ethanol Inc. has closed on a $10 million deal with Liberty Basin LLC to sell 134 acres of land including a rail loop and grain handling assets at its Magic Valley ethanol plant in Burley, Idaho. Pacific Ethanol will retain the ethanol plant and terminal on the remaining 25 acres and has entered into agreements with the buyer for grain delivery.

“The sale of real estate and grain handling assets at our Magic Valley facility marks further progress in our strategic realignment around higher, more stable margins in specialty alcohols and essential ingredients,” said Pacific Ethanol’s CEO Mike Kandris, adding that the company will restart the facility after it is repositioned to produce higher-value products.