Business Briefs

By Erin Voegele | July 26, 2016

Solenis LLC and Buckman Laboratories Inc. have announced the resolution of a pending lawsuit filed by Buckman in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee against Solenis regarding its patent for using polysorbate as an additive for corn oil extraction aids. As a result of the settlement, Solenis has licensed the use of its corn oil extraction technology to Buckman. Under the royalty-bearing license agreement, Buckman will become an authorized licensee of Solenis technology in the U.S. and Canada.          

U.S. Water’s Cambridge, Minnesota, facility was awarded a Meritorious Achievement in Occupational Safety 2015 Governor’s Safety Award during the 2016 Minnesota Safety & Health Conference in Minneapolis. The event was organized by the Minnesota Safety Council.  
The board of the Advanced Biofuels Association has welcomed BIOX, Louis Dreyfus and the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association as members. With these three new members, the ABFA represents 9.6 billion gallons of domestic and international biofuels production. The board also elected Neville Fernandes, head of sales and marketing and a board member at Neste U.S. Inc., as chairman. In addition, Michael Whitney, general manager of renewable fuels at Musket Corp.; Len Federico, manager of biofuels and oils at Louis Dreyfus; Jeffrey Jacobs, president and CEO of Ensyn; Paolo Carollo, executive vice president of Beta Renewables/BioChemtex; and John Cummings, vice president of Wilmar North America were added to the ABFA executive committee. Former chairman Wayne Simmons, CEO of Sundrop Fuels, will remain as the ex-officio member of the committee.  
Toptech Systems has released MultiLoad Slate hardware. Slate opens the benefits MultiLoad II has provided to terminals to other markets involved in the movement of fluids. Slate is designed to help companies with fluid loading and offloading applications. The new device stores information a company needs before a transaction begins, tracks every transaction, and sends it to the user’s software system for a fraction of the cost of PLC/PC based solutions.   
The Andersons Inc. has announced that Ethanol Group President Neill C. McKinstray retired July 1. Michael S. Irmen, vice president and general manager of the Ethanol Group, assumed the group’s leadership as president. McKinstray began his career with The Andersons in 1976 as a grain buyer in Champaign, Illinois. He worked in a variety of management, merchandising, sales and marketing positions before being named manager of grain transportation and market development in 1997. Instrumental in leading The Andersons into the ethanol business, McKinstray was named vice president of the Ethanol Division in 2005 and president of the Ethanol Group in 2012. Between July 2015 and February 2016 he assumed additional duties as president of the Grain Group. He served as chairman of the Renewable Fuels Association from 2012 to 2014. Irmen has served as a member of senior leadership for the ethanol team since its inception in 2005. He brings to his new role 40 years of experience in grain merchandising, commodities risk management and ethanol administration. He has served as a vice president in the Ethanol Group since 2012 and was also named as general manager in 2015. Irmen serves as a special advisor to the market risk committee at GreenField Specialty Alcohols Inc. He is The Andersons’ representative to the board of directors for the RFA and has served on the technical committee. A member of the National Grain and Feed Association, Irmen has served on the country elevator committee and chaired the arbitration committee.

The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association has relaunched as Renewable Industries Canada. The change reinforces the nonprofit association’s mission to promote the use of value-added products made from renewable resources. 

The National Corn Growers Association has added Mary Hagan as vice president of communications. She has more than 20 years of experience developing and implementing complex communication strategies with high-profile agriculture and consumer product companies. She most recently served as managing director of Osborn Barr, an agriculture-focused ad agency. Hagan also previously served as senior vice president with the Leo Burnett ad agency in Chicago, where she had various roles in media and account services.

Premium Plant Services, an industrial cleaning services provider based in Hibbing, Minnesota, has formed a sister company, Innovative Plant Solutions, to meet the needs of ethanol, biodiesel and food processing plants throughout the Midwest. IPS attributed the decision to the continuous demand for unique, industrial plant cleaning solutions. The company also recently announced that Steve Farris has joined the company as vice president. In this role, Farris is responsible for all company operations, including supervising 12 employees and overseeing process development, safety and sales. He brings nearly a decade of industrial cleaning experience to his role at IPS. Before joining IPS, Farris was employed at New Age Cryo, where he served as the hydro division manager. He also previously worked for IPS sister company Premium Plant Services, where he served in various roles, including crew supervisor. In addition, Nathan Anacker has been added to the IPS team as environmental health and safety manager. In this newly created position, Anacker is responsible for the development and implementation of all health and safety programs for IPS and PPS. He also is responsible for ensuring compliance with all applicable federal, state and local requirements, including meeting or exceeding Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other standards, and ensuring the safety of IPS and PPS equipment and processes. His duties also include supervising safety coordinators throughout four locations operated by IPS and PPS. Before joining IPS, Anacker served as a dangerous goods specialist and hazardous material spill cleanup specialist at FedEx Express in Hibbing.

Western Plains Energy LLC has joined the Renewable Fuels Association. The company operates a 50 MMgy ethanol plant in Oakley, Kansas. The plant began operations in 2004 and takes in corn and grain sorghum as feedstock. In addition to ethanol, the facility produces more than 400,000 tons of wet distillers grains per year. 

The Indiana  Corn Marketing Council recently recognized two Hoosier renewable energy leaders for their commitment to providing ethanol-blended fuel options to consumers across Indiana and beyond. Mike and Ann Ackerman of Circle A Food Mart and John DiMartini of The Andersons Inc. were presented awards by ICMC President David Gottbrath at the 2016 Indiana Ethanol Forum in Indianapolis to commend their support of ethanol and Indiana corn farmers.