Business Briefs

By Erin Voegele | June 16, 2016

Murex LLC has executed a multi-year ethanol marketing agreement with White Energy. The agreement calls for Murex to market all three of White Energy’s production locations, two in Texas and one in Kansas, totaling 295 million gallons of permitted ethanol production annually.

Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative, an Ontario-based farmer’s cooperative, has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Comet Biorefining to collaborate on the development of a sustainable agricultural biomass supply chain in southwestern Ontario. Comet Biorefining recently announced Sarnia, Ontario, as the location of its commercial-scale biomass-derived sugar facility. The plant will process more than  60,000 metric tons of corn stover or wheat straw per year into dextrose sugar. The production of these sugars and coproducts will support the production of bioproducts such as biochemicals and biofuels.  
Ecolab Inc. has changed the name of Nalco, its water and process services business, to Nalco Water. The new name more clearly communicates Nalco’s water management expertise as water scarcity is becoming a major global challenge and an increasing constraint to business growth.   

Ametek Inc. has completed the acquisition of Brookfield Engineering Laboratories, a manufacturer of viscometers and rheometers, and ESP/SurgeX, a provider of energy intelligence and power protection solutions.       

Hydro-Thermal Corp. has to reorganized its staff into industry-specific teams in response to increasing sales and the ever-changing complexity of its business. The teams cover newer applications as well as established markets, including food and beverage; ethanol, starch and sweetener; and industrial. Sales staff previously were divided by geographic territory, with segments broken out for U.S. and Canada and international. Sales, engineering and marketing staff were affected by the reorganization. All sales staff now will  have a specific, dedicated industry. Existing sales relationships will be transitioned gradually to their new contacts and the team will work together to ensure that all current sales opportunities are properly serviced.
Green Plains Inc.’s board of directors has appointed Ejnar Knudsen as an independent director. Knudsen is founder and managing partner of AGR Partners, where he oversees the firm’s investment process. He serves on the board of two AGR portfolio companies, Ridley Corp. and Opal Foods. He is the co-founder and director of Materra and currently serves on the board of Western Milling. He is also chair of the Dairy Club, director on the California Ag Leadership Foundation board and chair of its finance committee, and a member of the Farm Foundation.

Jeanne McCaherty became CEO of Guardian Energy Management LLC in May, leading its ethanol operations headquartered in Prior Lake, Minnesota. McCaherty most recently worked at Cargill as vice president, regional director for North and South American regions for the texturizing business unit. In that role, she led a $480 million business and a team of 400 in all aspects of the business from origination and manufacturing to marketing and human resources. Before that, she held numerous leadership positions, including global director of the cultures and enzymes business as well as several leadership roles in global research and development.

The Renewable Fuels Association has received a Transcaer National Achievement Award for hosting a series of seminars last year on ethanol safety and emergency responders. This is the fourth year RFA has been awarded this honor by the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response initiative. The award is given in recognition of extraordinary achievement by an individual person, company, organization or a team in support of the Transcaer  initiative. Transcaer is a volunteer coalition that works to ensure emergency responders and their communities are educated with the most up-to-date information and are prepared to handle hazardous material incidents. In 2015, RFA held 15 ethanol safety seminars and two train-the-trainer events. Those events collectively trained 541 first responders. In addition, Missy Ruff, technical services manager of RFA, received a Transcaer Individual Achievement Award for her work last year in planning the ethanol safety events.

Midwest AgEnergy Group has named Jeff Zueger as its CEO.  MAG owns Blue Flint Ethanol in Underwood, North Dakota, and Dakota Spirit AgEnergy, in Spiritwood, North Dakota. Both are 65 MMgy   ethanol plants. MAG is owned by Great River Energy and other accredited investors, including ag producers and businesses. Zueger worked for Great River Energy from 1993 to 2006 in engineering and operations at the cooperative’s two power plants in central North Dakota, Stanton Station and Coal Creek Station. He was leader of generation and operations support when Great River Energy began to explore building an ethanol facility to utilize unused energy at Coal Creek Station. He became general manager for Blue Flint Ethanol in 2006 and led construction, startup and overall business activities. In 2012, Zueger became chief operating officer for Midwest AgEnergy Group as the business prepared to build Dakota Spirit AgEnergy. In that position, Zueger managed all aspects of the business for Midwest AgEnergy Group.

Cassie Mullen has joined the Renewable Fuels Association as director of market development. She primarily will focus on working with the supply chain to facilitate expansion of infrastructure capable of offering higher-level ethanol blends to consumers. Mullen has been working with fuel retailers for more than two decades, conducting station equipment evaluations, providing equipment recommendations and helping them build new stations. She is well-versed in environmental compliance, EMV and major oil branding and marketing agreements, and has owned retail stations during her career. Mullen spent nearly six years as business development/manager for Kansas-based fuel equipment business P.B. Hoidale and nearly 10 years as director of sales and marketing for Missouri-based Neumayer Equipment Co. Most recently, she worked as an executive for Seneca Companies, managing a 17-state territory of retailer accounts.

Green Biologics Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based Green Biologics Ltd., announced two distribution agreements in early April. The company is currently retrofitting a corn ethanol plant in Little Falls, Minnesota, to produce renewable n-butanol and acetone. The first distribution agreement is with Texas-based Nexeo Solutions. Nexeo Solutions will become Green Biologics’ national distributor of n-butanol and acetone to U.S. customers in several key markets, including coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers; household, industrial and institutional cleaners; personal care intermediates; and energy chemicals. The second distribution agreement was signed with Acme-Hardesty, a division of Jacob Stern & Sons Inc. and leading supplier of biobased chemicals. Acme-Hardesty will focus its efforts on marketing Green Biologics’ n-butanol and acetone for high-value applications in food ingredients, cleaning products and biolubricants.