GPRE celebrates milestone, issues update of algae project

By Erin Voegele | August 20, 2012

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. is holding an event on August 23 to celebrate the five-year anniversary of its Shenandoah, Iowa plant. According to Jim Stark, GPRE vice president investor and media relations, the event aims to thank the Shenandoah community for the five years of support it has offered to the plant.

Lunch will be served to members of the local community that gather on the plant grounds from 11:00 a.m. through 1:00 pm. As part of the festivities, a ceremony will be held at noon. Shenandoah Mayor Richard Hunt and Gregg Connell, executive director of the Shenandoah Chamber & Industry Association, will each say a few words. In addition, Jeff Briggs, chief operating officer of GPRE, will be on hand to speak on behalf of the company and present Cory Scamman, general manger of the Shenandoah plant, with a plaque to commemorate the occasion. Scamman has served as general manager of the facility since it began operations five years ago.

The Shenandoah plant is the first plant we built, said Stark, and that the facility is holds significance for his company. GPRE plans to hold similar celebrations at its other facilities as they celebrate milestones. It’s a good way to honor our employees and honor the communities that we live in, Stark said.

When the plant marks its fifth anniversary on August 23, it will have produced 308.8 million gallons of ethanol, Stark continued. The nameplate capacity of the facility is 50 MMgy, but it has produced at levels averaging 60 MMgy. “That’s a testament to the employees, the operational excellence that they practice, safety and running that plant efficiently,” Stark said. “So, our hats are off to those dedicated folks that work there.”

GPRE also recently issued a brief update of the BioProcess Algae project. According to the company, the project is in the final construction of its Phase III commercial farms. Construction began in February, and is scheduled to conclude within the weeks. Hopefully, we will have those reactors inoculated and growing algae within the next two to three weeks, Stark added.