Hit the Ground Running

Former Gateway to receive grain again April 1
By Holly Jessen | March 10, 2011

A 55 MMgy ethanol plant in Pratt, Kan., is being extensively renovated by its new owner, The Scoular Company, with a goal of receiving grain by April 1 and being fully operational in the second or third quarter of 2011, says John Heck, senior vice president.

Scoular acquired Gateway Plant LLC along with an adjoining 1.8 million bushel shuttle train facility. The newly dubbed Pratt Energy LLC plant is located on the Union Pacific Railroad and is capable of loading 100-car shuttles. The primary purpose will be to bring in feedstock for the plant, Heck says. It will also be used to load outbound trains with distillers grains and ethanol.

Although Scoular is in discussions with other companies about partnering in operating the plant, the company is prepared to start on its own. “It is economically feasible to run this plant, and that’s what we want to do,” says CEO Chuck Elsea. Terms of the sale were not announced.

The $100 million plant started producing ethanol in October 2007 but filed for bankruptcy a year later after several shutdowns for repairs and due to limited working capital. Scoular will reinstall a boiler as well as do significant work in the distillation, dehydration and evaporation areas of the plant.

—Holly Jessen