Spring ethanol plant map shows 14.31 billion gallons of capacity

By Susanne Retka Schill | April 08, 2011

The Spring 2011 Fuel Ethanol Plant Map is Ethanol Producer Magazine’s twice-yearly look at the industry, being distributed with the May issue, soon to be out. This spring, the printed wall map includes enhancements from a new partnership with the University of North Dakota’s Department of Earth System Science and policy to add new contextual features to the map and improved plant location accuracy.

The spring 2011 look at the industry shows 211 ethanol plants, producing and idled, with a combined capacity of 14.31 billion gallons annually, for an average capacity of 67 MMgy. That compares with the map in spring 2005, when there were 92 operational plants on the list, with a combined capacity of 3.85 billion gallons, averaging 42 MMgy.

While the change looking back six years is dramatic, the industry is no longer growing in leaps and bounds. In the spring of 2007, the map showed 57 plants under construction. This spring there are only three conventional starch/sugar platform ethanol plants under construction, and all three are completing projects halted during the difficult economic times in 2007-’08.

Action in the industry is increasingly turning to cellulosic ethanol development. The spring ethanol plant map has 38 plants on our list, with seven completed plants meeting a minimum capacity requirement to be listed of 0.25 MMgy. Completed plants have a total capacity of 18.8 MMgy. Another six plants are under construction, representing 52.8 MMgy and 25 are proposed, which, if all were completed, would add 839.2 MMgy of cellulosic ethanol capacity.