Business Briefs: People, Partnerships & Projects

Industry announcements from the February issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine, including the sale of Green Plains' Texas ethanol plant, Fluid Quip's partnership with Trislot, and Vilsack being nominated for a second stint as U.S. ag secretary.

Green Plains sells Texas ethanol plant
Green Plains Hereford LLC, a Green Plains Inc. subsidiary, sold its 100 MMgy ethanol plant in Hereford, Texas, to Hereford Ethanol Partners L.P. for $39 million, plus working capital, and an earnout provision of up to $75 million related to certain value enhancement opportunities, including future earnings from Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits.

“The sale of the Hereford ethanol facility allows us to reallocate capital to support the accelerated buildout of our Ultra-High Protein technology and continue our total transformation to an ag-tech focused company,” said Todd Becker, president and CEO. “We determined that this location was not optimal for our growing focus on sustainable proteins and novel ingredients and were pleased to find a partner interested in pursuing several identified carbon capture opportunities. In addition, this location can be further optimized to lower carbon intensity scores, which will benefit our shareholders in the future, if and when realized.”

Information released by Green Plains indicates that Hereford Ethanol Partners L.P. is a newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary of a privately held Texas investment group. The facility is expected to resume production in the second quarter of 2021.

Fluid Quip Technologies partners with Trislot  
Fluid Quip Technologies is now an exclusive distributor of Trislot screens for the corn grind and biofuels industries. Trislot screens are utilized in fiber separation and washing in FQT’s patented technologies, allowing for optimal performance at critical points in the separation process. Trislot screens will be marketed and distributed through FQT’s partner Fluid Quip Mechanical.

“The exclusive partnership with Trislot is a natural alignment for FQT,” said Michael Franko, partner for Fluid Quip Technologies. “We have long utilized Trislot as our technologies have continued to develop. In addition to being a fit for our technology needs, Trislot is also a match for our mechanical services. Their ability to provide high-quality, innovative designs allows our mechanical engineers to develop cost-effective and specific solutions for operations and maintenance.”

Biden to nominate Vilsack as ag secretar
President-elect Joe Biden has announced he will nominate Tom Vilsack as secretary of agriculture. Vilsack is a former two-term governor of Iowa who served as secretary of agriculture during all eight years of the Obama-Biden administration.
Representatives of the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, and others have spoken out in support of Vilsack’s nomination.

“We congratulate Tom Vilsack on his nomination to once again lead USDA and know that he will hit the ground running,” said Brian Jennings, CEO of ACE. “Secretary Vilsack was the most effective advocate the biofuels industry had in the Obama administration and we are excited about working with him again, particularly with helping get the RFS back on track, continued infrastructure support for higher ethanol blends, and making sure farmers and biofuel producers are part of the solution to future policies designed to tackle climate change.”

“We congratulate Mr. Vilsack and are pleased that the Biden transition team has chosen such a steadfast champion of rural America to lead USDA,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “He has been a tireless champion of the biofuels industry over his career and his advocacy has been crucial. … We are looking forward to working with the incoming administration and Mr. Vilsack to build on the success of biofuels as a solution to our climate goals, providing American drivers access to a cleaner fuel option, and supporting rural economies.”

“Tom Vilsack is an excellent choice to serve in this role,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “During his last term as secretary, he has shown clearly and continually that he can work effectively with the broad spectrum of interests who have a stake in the wide body of issues under USDA’s portfolio, including renewable fuels. We are especially happy to have someone in the Biden administration who intimately understands the crucial role renewable fuels and agriculture can play in confronting climate change. We thank the president-elect and look forward to working once again with the new secretary once he takes office.”