Mina-Made Ethanol Heading to Brazil
by Jeff Natalie-Lees (Aberdeen News) Export options help facility weather weaker domestic demand
Ethanol produced in Mina is helping Brazil avoid a fuel crisis after a weak sugar cane crop cut that country’s ethanol production.
When the sugar cane crop — the main raw material for ethanol in Brazil — was reduced because of drought, it created increased demand for ethanol, said Jim Seurer, CEO for Glacial Lakes Energy, which operates plants in Mina and Watertown.
…The Mina plant has also met specifications to export ethanol to Europe, said Frank Moore, Glacial Lakes director of operations. This involved a process of documenting the carbon footprint of the ethanol produced by the plant. European markets will not accept products that do not meet strict carbon dioxide limits for raw materials and manufacturing, he said.
The Mina plant has not yet exported to Europe, but approval documents are in place, he said.
“Being able to export to South America and Europe is in our opinion a big, big deal,” Seurer said.
The ability to export gives Glacial Lakes other options than sole reliance on the U.S. market. The supply of ethanol in the U.S. is slightly greater than demand, according to industry analysts.
…Distillers grain is a more cost effective export than corn because it is a more concentrated product, he said. Based on its protein amount, distillers grain costs one-third the freight as corn, he said.
“It’s all about freight,” he said.