E Caruso LLC starts construction in Goodland, Kan.

By | August 01, 2006
Joining a handful of companies that collocate ethanol and biodiesel refineries, Goodland Energy Center started construction of an ethanol facility at a 100-acre industrial site in Goodland, Kan., in May. "We actually have four operations that are going into this industrial complex," said Ron Pickman, Goodland Energy Center CEO. "We have a cogeneration power plant, ethanol production, biodiesel production and a soy crush facility."

The ethanol plant, called eCaruso LLC, has a 20 MMgy nameplate capacity and room to expand to 30 MMgy. A general contractor was scheduled to be on site in July. The plant expects to employ 30 full-time employees with approximately $1.5 million in payroll. The biodiesel plant, Kanza Energy LLC, will produce 10 MMgy of biodiesel made from various feedstocks. It is also under construction at this time. The Goodland Energy Resources Cogeneration Power Plant is a coal- and biomass-fueled producer of electricity, capable of generating up to 22 megawatts and 200,000 pounds of steam, which will be used as process energy for the ethanol plant. "It started out with the power plant [when we were] looking at a way to provide electricity at a more economical price to the city of Goodland," Pickman said. "One thing just led to another, and of course, we needed some more oil for the biodiesel production and that led to the soy crushing operation. We figured that we could use waste materials and biomass in the feed operations."

The Goodland Energy Center industrial complex has significant space for expansion projects with the initial three plants occupying only 30 acres of the site. The power plant has the potential to expand to a capacity of 28 megawatts of electricity and 250,000 pounds of steam. Goodland Energy Resources will be a wholesaler of electric power and will employ 21 full-time employees with an annual payroll of approximately $800,000.

"In the process of designing the plant, we realized that instead of seeing the steam go up as waste, [we could] use that product to fire the ethanol plant and save on the cost of natural gas," Pickman said. "That led to the development of the biodiesel [facility] using some of the corn syrup that was a byproduct of the ethanol."