Flint Hills adds FQPT protein technology to second ethanol plant

By Fluid Quip Process Technologies | March 08, 2019

Flint Hills Resources announced March 5 it will install Fluid Quip Process Technologies’ patented Maximized Stillage Co-Products system at its Shell Rock, Iowa, ethanol plant. This is the second installation of the FQPT MSC system among Flint Hills’ seven ethanol plants located in Iowa, Nebraska and Georgia, and the fourth site in the nation where the FQPT system will be used. The first Flint Hills installation took place in Fairmont, Nebraska, in 2017.

MSC technology allows dry mill ethanol plants to separate protein from the whole stillage that is a co-product of the ethanol-making process. Flint Hills markets this high-protein product as a feed ingredient called NexPro.

“Investing in a second installation allows us to better meet our current customers’ needs and is aligned with our goal to grow the market for NexPro,” said Mark Murphy, general manager for ingredients at Flint Hills Resources. “As world demand for protein continues to grow, NexPro offers producers another alternative to traditional high-protein feed ingredients.”

Murphy noted that after Flint Hills Resources’ experience operating the MSC technology at its Fairmont location, part of the appeal of adding MSC to Shell Rock was the ability to create a redundancy in its supply for its current customers while building market capability that will appeal to new customers.

“We believe in the MSC technology,” said Murphy. “Our plant at Flint Hills Fairmont has used the MSC equipment over a period of months to prove the technology, refine the equipment and optimize our operation. This investment demonstrates the value we believe NexPro brings to our company and our customers.”

The Flint Hills Resources Shell Rock plant buys 44 million bushels of corn annually to produce 125 million gallons of ethanol, 300,000 tons of dried distillers’ grains and over 3.5 million gallons of distillers’ corn oil. The plant employs about 50 people.

“We are very pleased to be selected for the second Flint Hills MSC installation,” said Garland Krabbenhoft, Plant Manager at Flint Hills Shell Rock. “Our staff is top-notch, we have excellent rail and road access here in Northeast Iowa, and the quality and quantity of corn in our region is a big advantage.”

Flint Hills has selected Bilfinger-WestCon Construction of Bismarck, North Dakota, to construct the facility, the same firm that built their Fairmont MSC project. The Shell Rock MSC project will require the addition of a new building and two protein dryers.

Construction is expected to begin in spring 2019. Krabbenhoft said the plant will remain in operation during construction.

Fluid Quip Process Technologies will provide the MSC technology, separation equipment, process engineering, construction oversight, and startup support for the Shell Rock plant.

“We are excited to be working with the Flint Hills Resources team once again after a successful Fairmont project. The Flint Hill Resources team sees the value in this technology, along with the high value protein markets and improved competitiveness this technology brings into an ethanol facility,” said Neal Jakel, vice president of strategy and development for FQPT. “We are continuing to build this partnership. Between the technology integrations, feed trials and product marketing we have collaborated on, we are extremely pleased to extend our partnership with Flint Hills Resources to a second facility. Our technology is solid, and the market for high-protein product continues to grow and gain value.”