Jumping In

Another oil refiner takes its position among the top 5 producers of ethanol.
By Kris Bevill | February 15, 2011

In January, Flint Hills Resources Renewables LLC announced plans to acquire two former Hawkeye Renewables LLC facilities in Iowa, with the sale expected to close by the end of February. The company will pay an undisclosed cash sum for the 100 MMgy Iowa Falls plant and the 115 MMgy Fairbank plant, both of which will continue to operate as ownership and management operations are transferred to Flint Hills.

The addition of the Iowa Falls and Fairbank facilities increases Flint Hills’ ethanol production capacity to 445 MMgy, making it the fifth largest ethanol producer in the U.S., according to EPM plant map data. The company also owns and operates 115 MMgy plants in Menlo and Shell Rock, Iowa, which it purchased from Hawkeye for an undisclosed cash sum on Sept. 8.

Flint Hills is a refiner and marketer of petroleum and its related coproducts. Based in Wichita, Kan., it operates refineries in North Pole, Alaska; Rosemount, Minn., and Corpus Christi, Texas, and markets petroleum-based fuels and products throughout North America. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., one of the largest private companies in the world. Founded in 1940, Koch Industries and its affiliates operate more than 80 refineries and own or operate about 4,000 miles of petroleum pipelines.

As the largest purchaser of ethanol in Minnesota, Flint Hills is expected to utilize at least some of its newly acquired ethanol capacity to supply its own blending operations. A spokesman for the company said it became an ethanol producer “to enhance its renewables business” and to advance its position as a leader of transportation fuels production. The company will continue to explore opportunities for additional ethanol acquisitions, he says. 

—Kris Bevill