Idled Nebraska plant running again

By Holly Jessen | February 09, 2010
Posted March 12, 2010

After nearly a year as a mothballed facility, a 44 MMgy ethanol plant in Cambridge, Neb., is producing ethanol again. Nebraska Corn Processing LLC (NCP) first started grinding corn on March 2. "We are running at full capacity and ethanol has been shipped out from the facility via truck and railcar," said Beth Westemeyer, marketing manager.

On Dec. 17, 2009, NCP signed an agreement to purchase the plant after Mid America Agri Products/Horizon LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Mid America Agri Products built the plant in 2007 and idled it in 2009.

It took about two months to get the plant up and running again, Westemeyer told EPM. That process included tearing down the machinery for maintenance and cleaning, to make sure everything was running well and was up to code. The plant is now "pretty much in tip top shape," she said. NCP worked with Energetix LLC to get the plant running as efficiently as possible.

A total of 32 people work at the plant, many of whom worked there before the plant was idled and employees were laid off. The community has been very accommodating to NCP. "It couldn't have gone better actually, everyone in Cambridge is just so welcoming to us," Westemeyer said. "… It's a great town to have an ethanol plant in."

NCP is a subsidiary of Zeeland Farm Services, which will provide commodity price risk management services to the plant. Zeeland's grain division will market the distillers grains produced there. NCP will produce all wet distillers grains targeted for the many cattle feedlots in the area. "It should be a really great market for that," Westmeyer said.