Business Briefs

Elite Octane joins IRFA, Helm and Viridis partner, and Kevin Howes hired at CTE Global
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | April 15, 2021

Elite Octane joins Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

Elite Octane, a 150 MMgy ethanol plant near Atlantic, has joined the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association as a producer member.

Nick Bowdish, Elite Octane’s president and CEO, will serve on IRFA’s board of directors. Bowdish said he is excited to work alongside the rest of the IRFA board this year to grow ethanol demand across Iowa, especially in light of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ recent introduction of the Iowa Biofuel Standards legislation. If passed, the legislation would set a minimum standard of 10% ethanol and 11% biodiesel sold in Iowa and chart the path to universal availability of gasoline containing 15% ethanol in Iowa.

“We share the vision of Gov. Kim Reynolds, IRFA, and the other supporters of the Iowa Biofuel Standards legislation that gasoline containing 15% ethanol should be available for consumers at every Iowa retail station and this bill provides retailers with the support they need to make it happen,” Bowdish said. “We are looking forward to being a part of the IRFA team as it works alongside the governor and other ag groups to see the passage of this crucial legislation. Upon doing so, Iowa will continue to lead by example as we advocate for other states and countries to offer higher blends of ethanol.”

IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw said IRFA was excited to welcome Elite Octane as a new member.

“While Elite Octane has only been in operation for a couple of years, Nick has been an active and staunch supporter of ethanol for many years and we look forward to his voice joining our board of directors,” Shaw said. “He is passionate and driven and as we work this year to pass ground-breaking legislation to boost biofuel demand, IRFA will be that much stronger because Elite Octane is now a part of our team.”

Helm, Viridis Chemical announce marketing partnership

 Helm U.S. Corp. and Viridis Chemical LLC have entered into an exclusive global marketing partnership for the purchase and sale of USP grade biobased ethanol and biobased ethyl acetate to be produced at the Viridis Chemical manufacturing plant in Columbus, Nebraska. Helm will immediately assume the exclusive responsibility for global sales, marketing and logistics management for both of Viridis Chemical’s products.

“We are excited to partner with Helm, one of the world’s largest and most successful independent chemicals marketers,” said Carl V. Rush, Jr., CEO and cofounder of Viridis Chemical. “We see a perfect synergy allowing us to focus on our expertise of producing sustainable and high-quality renewable chemicals, combined with Helm’s outstanding marketing capabilities from decades of presence here in the U.S. and around the world.”

Oliver Leptien, president and CEO of Helm U.S., said, “Viridis Chemical’s focus on a high-performing, sustainable product, combined with their structured and visionary approach to sustainable and renewable chemicals led the way towards this value creating partnership. We are convinced that our highly customized market approach and our unique business model will add additional value to these two bio-based products.”

Björn Steckel, executive vice president derivatives at Helm U.S., said, “It is a visible step forward to further increase our product portfolio with sustainable and renewable chemicals. The Viridis Chemical biobased ethyl acetate is a visible differentiator in numerous applications versus traditional fossil-based ethyl acetate.”

Viridis Chemical’s Columbus plant is currently undergoing capital improvements that will increase production capacity. The plant is expected to begin production of high-quality USP grade bioethanol in mid-2021 and production of biobased ethyl acetate at a global scale in Q4 2022.


CTE Global names Howes director of business development

CTE Global Inc. hired Kevin Howes as director of business development. Howes is a well-known leader in the biofuels market with more than 27 years of professional experience, most recently as chief operating officer of Homeland Energy Solutions in Lawler, Iowa.

Howes will be developing and implementing an overall corporate sales and customer support strategy, directly engaging with key strategic accounts translating the company’s business objectives into workable customer solutions that create customer value while driving company revenue.
“I am excited for the opportunity to combine my operational experience with CTE Global’s continually evolving product line to bring a unique value proposition to our clients,” Howes said.

“Kevin is well-known and respected within the biofuels industry and brings a rare combination of technical savvy, customer focus and application experience to the benefit of all CTE Global clients,” said Alex Shifman, president and CEO. “His skill set spans all aspects of ethanol manufacturing processes and we’re really excited that he joined our team.”