Business Briefs

People, Partnerships & Deals
By Erin Voegele | November 05, 2012

1. Syngenta in North America has signed a commercial agreement with Merrill, Iowa-based Plymouth Energy LLC to use grain featuring Enogen trait technology next year. Enogen trait technology eliminates the need to utilize liquid alpha amylase enzyme in dry grind ethanol production, allowing for reduced energy, gas and water usage.  Syngenta is currently working with the plant to contract with local growers to produce Enogen corn for the 2013 crop. Growers under contract will begin delivering the specialty grain following next year’s harvest. Syngenta has also recently formed trial agreements with Siouxland Ethanol LLC and Golden Grain Energy LLC.

2. The McGraw-Hill Companies have announced that Platts, a McGraw-Hill division and global provider of energy, petrochemical and metals information, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Switzerland-based Kingsman SA, a privately-held provider of price information and analytics for the global sugar and biofuel markets. Kingsman employs analysts, researchers and report writers in key markets, including London, Montreal, New Delhi and Sao Paulo, Brazil. It serves a global clientele of producers, traders, refiners, financial institutions and end-users, offering a variety of subscription publications covering sugar, ethanol and biodiesel. The company’s prime focus is on market analysis, supply and demand fundamentals and trade flows.

3. Jeff Lautt, Poet LLC CEO, and Kelly Manning, Growth Energy vice president of development, presented Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., with the Fueling Growth award for his exceptional support of the ethanol industry. The award is given annually to the ethanol industry’s outstanding champions with an exceptional voting record in support of the biofuels industry, and recognizes Johnson’s contributions to helping the biofuel industry create jobs and economic development to South Dakota communities.  Johnson visited Poet headquarters in Sioux Falls, S.D., to discuss the importance of renewable fuels. He also received a tour of the facility, where much of Poet’s research and development activities take place.

4. The Andersons Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to purchase substantially all of the assets of Mt. Pulaski Products LLC. The transaction is subject to certain conditions, and is anticipated to close by the end of the year. Mt. Pulaski Products is a corn cob processor that operates two facilities in central Illinois. The company produces several products, including absorbents and abrasives. The acquisition aligns with The Andersons growth strategies for its cob products businesses. If acquired, the assets of Mt. Pulaski Products will operate within The Andersons Turf and Specialty Group, Cob Division.

5. General Motors and Ford Motor Co. have announced that new model vehicles are ready to run on E15. The owner's manuals for GM’s 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles state that those vehicles can run on fuels containing up to 15 percent ethanol. Ford has approved E15 for use in all model year 2013 vehicles, including hybrids and Ecoboost.

6. Neill McKinstray has been named chairman of the Renewable Fuels Association board of directors. He is president of the ethanol group at The Andersons Inc. McKinstray previously served as vice chairman for two years, and will be succeeding Chuck Woodside, general manager of Minden, Neb.-based KAPPA Ethanol LLC. Woodside served as chairman for two one-year terms. Randall Doyal, CEO of Al-Corn Clean Fuel, is serving as the new vice chairman. Walter Wendland, CEO of Golden Grain Energy LLC, was named treasurer. Mick Henderson, general manager of Commonwealth Agri-Energy LLC, will serve as secretary.

7. Clariant Corp. has joined the Advanced Ethanol Council. Süd-Chemie, now a part of Clariant, has been developing its proprietary sunliquid process since 2009. The technology has been operating at the pilot scale since 2009. Clariant began operation of a cellulosic ethanol demonstration facility in Straubing, Germany, in July. The demonstration plant will produce up to 330,000 gallons of ethanol per year from wheat straw, corn stover and sugarcane bagasse feedstocks. The sunliquid process can produce cellulsoic ethanol from a wide variety of agricutlural residues and dedicated energy crops. Clariant has started plans to commercialize the sunliquid process in the U.S., and has opened an office in Des Moines, Iowa.

8. Verenium Corp., a company focused on the development and commercialization of high-performance enzymes, has entered into an agreement with Comerica Bank for a two-year, $10 million revolving credit facility. The credit allows Verenium to borrow up to $8.4 million against eligible foreign and domestic receivables and will cover an existing $1.6 million letter of credit commitment to Verenium’s landlord. The credit facility also immediately frees up $1.6 million in restricted cash, which had previously secured the letter of credit.

9. Advanced Bioenergy LLC has announced plans to sell its Fairmont, Neb., ethanol plant to Wichita, Kan.-based Flint Hills Resources LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc. The transaction is expected to close later this year, subject to regulatory approval. The Fairmont ethanol plant began production in 2007, and has an annual production capacity of more than 115 million gallons. The facility also produces more than 320,000 tons of dried distillers grains each year, along with more than 18 million pounds of nonfood grade corn oil. Advanced Bioenergy will continue to operate its ethanol plants in Huron, S.D., and Aberdeen, S.D.

 

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