Business Briefs

People, Partnerships & Deals
By Ethanol Producer Magazine Staff | March 05, 2012

1. Pam Keck joins the National Corn Growers Association as director of biofuels programs and business developments. “Pam is an incredibly valuable addition to our team, and we are excited to be able to utilize her broad knowledge base to further enhance our biofuels program,” said Paul Bertels, NCGA vice president of production and utilization. Keck most recently contracted with Monsanto, coordinating an outreach program that brought together schools and scientists.  She previously taught chemistry at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and at Lewis and Clark Community College. She served as assistant director of workforce development and scientific projects at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center.

2. Carl Rush, senior vice president of organic growth for Waste Management Inc., is now serving on the board of directors for Enerkem Inc. At Waste Management, Rush is responsible for finding growth opportunities that are synergistic with the company’s objective of maximizing value from waste, including converting them into biofuels, renewable chemicals and energy. Enerkem has established a strategic relationship with Waste Management since the company’s initial investment in Enerkem in 2010.

3. Tracey Olson has resigned from his position as CEO of Granite Falls Energy LLC to accept the top management position at Karian Peterson Powerline Contracting in Montevideo, Minn. An interim CEO will be appointed as the board begins the management search, according to board chairman, Paul Enstad. “Granite Falls Energy is a great company with great employees and we will continue that tradition by carefully identifying Tracey’s successor in the coming months. We appreciate Tracey’s years of service and wish him the best.”
 
4. John Stork has joined Epic Systems Inc. as project manager/design engineer. Most recently employed at Jacobs Engineering, working exclusively as project manager on ConAgra projects, Stork is now responsible for engineering and management activities at the St. Louis-based multi-discipline engineering and fabrication firm. Epic Systems provides automation solutions for modular process plants and systems as well as custom machine manufacturing, machine vision system integration and packaging, and assembly line integration.

5. Mansfield Renewable Energy is now marketing ethanol and distllers grains for the 25 MMgy Red River Energy LLC plant in Rosholt, S.D. Jon Bjornstad, president of Mansfield Renewable Energy, stated, “We’re excited to offer a new line of products and services through our work with Red River Energy. Many of our plant partners have asked us to provide feed marketing options. With Bernie Punt joining our team, we feel like we have found the right leadership to enable us to offer the service.” The coproducts division will allow the company to provide a more complete services portfolio, which also includes natural gas supply, denaturant supply, ethanol marketing, corn oil marketing, and risk management services, Bjornson said.  The former North Country Ethanol in Rosholt was purchased in September and renamed Red River Energy, coming back online late last year. Mick Miller is general manager of the plant and continues as president of Energetix LLC.

6. Arisdyne System Inc. announced two new licensing agreements. Pinal Energy LLC, Maricopa, Ariz., and United Ethanol LLC, Milton, Wis., have agreed to license and acquire the company’s patented cavitation system. United Ethanol was involved in extensive testing of the technology along with the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center, the Ohio State Agriculture Research and Development Center, and Critical Path Management. Pinal Energy’s decision followed a four-month test showing yield improvements in a mixed feedstock environment. Arisdyne’s patented devices and processes have applied high-shear cavitation technology to open the corn cell structure efficiently, expose the starches to water and enzymatic activity, and reduce particle size; all contributing to more effective frontend processing.

7. Dedert Corp. has moved into its new head offices and state-of-the-art research and development facility in Homewood, Ill., 30 miles from downtown Chicago. The fully equipped 10,000-square-foot onsite research facility will facilitate pilot-scale testing of products and processes. The company has been providing evaporators and dryers to the starch/ethanol industries for 40 years.

8. LionBlog is the newest tool through which Lion Technology Inc. will share its knowledge and expertise in the fields of environmental law, hazmat transportation, hazardous waste management and workplace safety. The blog is designed to serve as a reference for regulated industries by preparing them for rule changes, providing updates on the status of proposed legislation, answering user-submitted questions and requests for clarification, and promoting discussion and sharing among peers.

9. CPM Roskamp Champion trained 15 operators from Hungary’s nearly completed Pannonia Ethanol. The new facility will use the CPM Roskamp Champion hammermill to produce corn ethanol and distillers grains. The training was held at Highwater Ethanol LLC in Lamberton, Minn. 

10. The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels announced its first completed commercial certification of the Manildra Group of Australia. The Manildra Group, though its subsidiary Shoalhaven Starches Pty Ltd., is producing ethanol from starchy wastewater generated by its wheat-processing facility. The certification was conducted by NCS International.

11. BinMaster, a division of Garner Industries, released its MultiBob inventory management system, which provides an average bin level from measurements taken by two and up to 32 SmartBob sensors. MultiBob can be used to monitor inventory in any storage bin or flat storage warehouse. Each SmartBob sensor detects level changes as bins and warehouses are emptied or filled using trucks, loaders or conveyors.   

12. Cincinnati, Ohio-based Almo Process Technology recently announced improvements to several features of its sizer, including redesigned output ports for material flow optimization, the vibration absorption system, the screen tensioning system and redesigned dust covers.

13. In a roundup of news headlines of the past month: BioProcess Algae LLC and Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. began construction on a five-acre algae production facility at the site of Green Plain’s 65 MMgy ethanol plant near Shenadoah, Iowa. 

14. Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. resumed work to restart the 38 MMgy ethanol plant it purchased in 2010 in Canton, Ill.

15. NEDAK Ethanol LLC, a 44 MMgy plant in Atkinson, Neb., recently completed a capital restructuring deal, raised $10 million in equity and entered into an asset management agreement.

16. ZeaChem Boardman Biorefinery LLC received a $232.5 million conditional commitment for a USDA loan guarantee to build its 25 MMgy integrated biorefinery in Boardman, Ore., contingent on the successful operation of its demonstration-scale facility.

17. Gevo Inc. received a patent on its isobutanol technology, “Recovery of Higher Alcohols From Dilute Aqueous Solutions.” The patent addresses the separation technology used to produce propanols, butanols, pentanols and hexanols and how ethanol plants can be retrofitted to produce higher alcohols.

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