Fire under control at Minnesota plant, no injuries reported

By Erin Voegele | March 10, 2014

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on March 10 a fire broke out in a dryer system at Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc.’s Otter Tail ethanol plant near Fergus Falls, Minn. Jim Stark, vice president of investor and media relations at GPRE, told Ethanol Producer Magazine that the fire is currently contained and is under control to the satisfaction of the Fergus Falls Fire Department. No injuries have been reported, and Stark confirmed that everyone onsite has been accounted for.

The initial fire in the dryer system was followed by a small explosion. The fire department was already onsite when that incident occurred. Regarding the fire, Stark said that the fire deluge system performed as designed, pushing a lot of water into the dryer and helping to contain the fire.

The 60 MMgy Otter Tail ethanol plant is one of 12 plants owned by GPRE. According to Stark, it accounts for approximately 5 percent of the company’s total ethanol production.

GPRE is expected to provide an update on damage and expected downtime later this week, after the company has the opportunity to inspect the damage.