Husker Ag Recognized for Ethanol Direct Marketing

The Nebraska Ethanol Board presented Seth Harder with a baseball bat engraved, “Nebraska Ethanol Honorary Team Member presented in appreciation by Nebraska Ethanol Board” on June 8. From left, Seth Harder, Husker Ag general manager; Isaac Harder, Seth’s son; Scott McPheeters, NEB board member; and Jan tenBensel, NEB board member.

Since 2012, Husker Ag in Plainview, Nebraska, has contributed more than $250,000 to Nebraska’s fuel infrastructure by funding higher-blend ethanol pumps at stations across the state.

“The goal is not just to produce ethanol, but to give every Nebraskan the opportunity to use it,” said Seth Harder, Husker Ag general manager. “We truly believe that ethanol is the best option for our state, farmers, consumers and our nation going forward.”

In 2011, Harder recommended that Husker Ag be proactive as a company, and work to move higher than 10 percent ethanol in fuel. The board of directors agreed.

Husker Ag employees accept Power By People Award during the 2015 American Coalition for Ethanol Conference in Omaha. From left, Scott Carpenter, Husker Ag board member; Amy Gregor, Husker Ag lab manager; Bill Steffen, Husker Ag production manager; Bernard Wredie, Husker Ag board member; Seth Harder, Husker Ag general manager; and Brian Jennings, American Coalition for Ethanol executive director.

This enthusiastic effort to offer Nebraskans more choice at the pump resulted in 11 stations across northeastern Nebraska and Yankton, South Dakota, with pumps that could dispense a range between E15 and E85 fuel, including E20 and E30. E15 (15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) is approved for use in all vehicles 2001 or newer, while flex fuel vehicles can run on any blend of fuel up to E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline).

“Recently, we funded new pumps in Yankton, South Dakota, and Pilger, Nebraska,” Harder said. “We are currently evaluating a few locations in northeast Nebraska, and will continue to look for prospects in the area. Generally, we choose non-branded parties that want to differentiate their product line to compete with chains.”

In addition to Yankton and Pilger, Husker Ag contributed funds for flex fuel pumps in Creighton, Crofton, Hartington, Norfolk, Osmond, Pierce (2), Plainview and Valentine.

Bernard Wredie, Husker Ag board member (left), and Seth Harder, Husker Ag general manager (right), help a driver choose the best ethanol blend at Speedee Mart in Norfolk, Nebraska. Husker Ag helped fund the flex fuel pumps at Speedee Mart.

“Speedee Mart in Norfolk stands out as a major success,” Harder said. “The volume sold for the size of that town is exceptional. Installing flex fuel pumps benefits both the business and the customer. For the station, it gives them an in-demand product that might not be available elsewhere. For the consumer, it gives them another option that costs less and is better for the environment.”

Husker Ag’s endeavor to expand ethanol’s availability does not end with funding new pumps. Frequently, the company provides discounted ethanol for fuel promotions across the state.

“We pass our ethanol savings onto retail locations so they can offer a great price to the consumer,” Harder said. “We sell the discounted ethanol for specific promotion days or grand openings, which gives us a chance to interact with drivers.”

The Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB) recently recognized Harder for his leadership at Husker Ag and the company’s success with fuel retailers. NEB Administrator Todd Sneller believes Husker Ag is a leader for the state’s ethanol industry.

“Nebraska looks to companies that go above and beyond to show what’s possible for the future of ethanol,” Sneller said. “Husker Ag continues to push forward with higher-blends that benefit our economy and environment.”

Harder will speak about his direct marketing experience at the American Coalition for Ethanol Conference in Omaha Aug. 15-17. He will present on how ethanol producers and fuel marketers improve the availability of competitively-priced ethanol through direct marketing.

“I encourage everyone in the industry to do what they can to help this industry succeed,” Harder added. “We all need to be involved to move past the mythical blend wall. The demand for ethanol is there, so we need to make sure we do everything we can to meet it.”

Husker Ag, LLC is an ethanol production facility built by Fagen Inc. of Granite Falls, Minnesota, and designed by ICM of Colwich, Kansas. With the expansions, Husker Ag now utilizes more than 29 million bushels of corn per year to produce about 85 million gallons of denatured ethanol, expected to be at 90 million gallons by the end of 2017. Husker Ag also produces about 475,000 tons of modified wet distillers grain per year, which is fed by area cattle feeders. Currently, Husker Ag employs 51 full-time employees from several surrounding communities including: Norfolk, Pierce, Randolph, Osmond, Plainview, Creighton, Bloomfield, Brunswick, Elgin and Tilden.

Nebraska Ethanol Board Meeting: June 22, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Ethanol Board will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 22. The meeting will be held in Grand Island at the Fairfield Inn & Suites (805 Allen Drive).

The meeting agenda is as follows:

  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. Budget Report
  5. Economic Impact Study Update
  6. Marketing Programs
  7. BIP Update/E15 State Upgrades
  8. State and Federal Legislation
  9. Ethanol Plant Reports
  10. Chair’s Report
  11. Administrator’s Report
  12. Working Lunch
  13. Travel Reports and Authorization
  14. Personnel
  15. Next Meeting Date
  16. Adjourn

This agenda contains all items to come before the Board except those items of an emergency nature.

E85 for Just 85 Cents in Lincoln

LINCOLN, NE – Flex fuel vehicle drivers can take advantage of huge savings with E85 for just 85 cents at Pump & Pantry (West O and Sun Valley Blvd.) in Lincoln Thursday, June 8 from 3-6 p.m. Consumers will be limited to 30 gallons and no containers are allowed.

There will be a ribbon cutting at 2:30 p.m. to mark the grand opening of Pump & Pantry’s flex fuel pumps, which now dispense E85 and Clean 88 – a high-octane, cleaner-burning blend of 15 percent ethanol.

The sponsors – Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Corn Board, Husker Ag and Bosselman Enterprises – will be on site greeting drivers, pumping fuel, and providing giveaways and a limited number of Saltdogs tickets. The Nebraska Danger professional indoor arena football team will also attend to greet fans and fuel vehicles.

The excitement continues at Haymarket Park at 6:45 p.m. when the Lincoln Saltdogs play the Sioux Falls Canaries. Charlie Bosselman, CEO of Bosselman Enterprises, will throw the opening pitch followed by drawings throughout the game to win American Ethanol t-shirts, Saltdogs tickets and baseballs.

One in seven Nebraskans are driving a flex fuel vehicle, which can run on any blend of American Ethanol up to E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). Drivers can check their owner’s manual to see if they’re driving a flex fuel vehicle. The vehicle might also have a flex fuel badge on the trunk or tailgate — or have a yellow gas cap.

American Ethanol is a clean-burning, non-toxic, renewable source of octane. Using homegrown, locally-produced ethanol reduces the levels of harmful chemicals in our fuel — and in the air we breathe.

Founded in 1948, Bosselman Enterprises is headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska, and own and operate: 44 Pump & Pantry convenience stores; 43 Boss Shops; the Bosselman Travel Center; several hotels and restaurants; and the Nebraska Danger indoor professional football team. The family organization is now in its third generation and has expanded across the nation in 23 states with more than 1,400 employees.

Established in 1971, the Ethanol Board assists ethanol producers with programs and strategies for marketing ethanol and related co-products. The Board supports organizations and policies that advocate the increased use of ethanol fuels – and administers public information, education and ethanol research projects. The Board also assists companies and organizations in the development of ethanol production facilities in Nebraska. For more information, please visit www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.

 

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Gov. Ricketts Proclaims May as Renewable Fuels Month in Nebraska


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts designated the month of May as Renewable Fuels Month in Nebraska during a proclamation ceremony at the State Capitol.

“The biofuels industry has been a key part of growing Nebraska agriculture,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Corn-based ethanol and soy biodiesel not only make our air cleaner, but also create jobs, encourage investment in rural communities, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help consumers save their hard-earned dollars when filling up at the pump.  Filling up with biofuels is not only a financially smart decision, but it is also an investment in Nebraska and our state’s number one industry.”

Currently, ethanol is blended with 90 percent of all fuel in Nebraska, and this number continues to increase each year.  There are over 227,000 flex fuel vehicles in the state, which equates to 1 in 7 Nebraska vehicles.  The 25 ethanol plants in Nebraska produced 2.1 billion gallons of ethanol in 2016.  The industry directly employs over 1,300 people in the state with an average salary of more than $50,000.  The economic strength of Nebraska’s corn and ethanol industry also spills into the livestock sector.

“Nebraska is often referred to as the ‘Golden Triangle,’” said Nebraska Corn Board Chairman David Merrell of St. Edward.  “Due to their proximity to each other coupled with Nebraska’s ample resources, our crop, livestock, and ethanol industries are able to thrive.  Each of these industries support and strengthen each other.  For example, from the ethanol production process, we not only get a renewable fuel, but we also get distillers grains, which are great feed resources for livestock domestically and internationally.”

The biodiesel and livestock industries also work synergistically to benefit Nebraska farmers and ranchers.  A healthy biodiesel industry provides nearly $58.5 million a year in aggregate benefits to beef and pork production due to decreased meal expenses and the use of inedible tallow and white grease as a biodiesel feedstock.

“It’s really amazing to see how well our ag sectors work together,” said Nebraska Soybean Board Chairman Tony Johanson of Oakland.  “As a farmer, it’s encouraging to see the value biodiesel has added to soybeans.  For example, biodiesel adds roughly $0.74 per bushel, and the industry helps support more than 60,000 jobs in the United States.”

Because renewable fuels are produced domestically, they greatly reduce our reliance on imported oil.  In 2016, ethanol replaced the need for 540 million barrels of imported crude oil and biodiesel displaced 2.9 billion gallons of imported petroleum diesel.

Renewable Fuels Month has been coordinated through the Nebraska Corn Board, the Nebraska Ethanol Board, and the Nebraska Soybean Board.  Several promotional events are being held throughout the month through the organizations’ social media platforms.

Additionally, the corn and ethanol boards are partnering together with ethanol producer Green Plains and Kum & Go at its Gretna location (I-80 Exit 439).  During this promotion on May 19 from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m., American Ethanol blends will be sold at a steep discount.  E15 and E85 will each sell for $0.99 per gallon.

Evolva announces long-term commercial agreement with Cargill

 

EverSweetTM next-generation stevia ingredient on track for 2018 launch

April 3, 2017 – Evolva (SIX: EVE) announced today that it has entered a major collaboration agreement with Cargill for the production and commercialisation of EverSweetTM, the next-generation stevia sweetener. This product is on track for a 2018 launch, securing its first-mover advantage.

EverSweet™ is a next-generation stevia sweetener that solves both the stevia taste and Reb M & Reb D scaleability challenges. EverSweet™ is brewed to produce large quantities of the most sought-after sweetness ingredients found in the stevia leaf, Reb M and Reb D. The stevia leaf contains only minute quantities of these ingredients. EverSweet™ also delivers better sweetness intensity, faster sweetness onset and improved sweetness quality – without the bitterness or off-note aftertaste common to existing stevia sweeteners. Evolva estimates the total addressable market to be worth around USD 4 billion.

Evolva will receive up to 30% of the EverSweet™ business, determined as a function of the strain efficiencies achieved. Evolva has the right to ask Cargill to support some of Evolva’s early cashflow commitments at a favourable interest rate, however under the new agreement Evolva will not receive any further milestone payments from Cargill.

EverSweetTM next generation sweetener will initially be produced at a fermentation facility on Cargill’s Blair, Nebraska campus that will be retrofitted for this purpose. The facility will be operated by Cargill and additionally be used for the fermentation of other Evolva products. In parallel, Evolva will build and operate a new state-of-the-art bioprocessing facility on adjacent land leased from Cargill. This bioprocessing facility will manufacture Evolva products such as nootkatone and resveratrol and is expected to come online in 2019. Together, this integrated infrastructure will provide Evolva with a global hub for the production of high value specialty ingredients.

Evolva CEO Neil Goldsmith said, “EverSweet™ is coming to market, and given it succeeds as we expect it to, Evolva will see 30% of the upside whilst mitigating some of our initial cash outflows. Plus our planned US production hub, working alongside Cargill, provides the foundation for truly scaleable, low cost, high quality, production for Evolva’s other key products.”

The production strategy provides a de-risked route for Evolva to establish its own low cost production of specialty ingredients through a collaboration with one of the world’s pre-eminent bioprocessing companies. Locating these operations in Blair, Nebraska also allows Evolva to leverage and access key resources such as Cargill’s centralised infrastructure, a skilled local labour pool, and a long-term supply of renewable resources from US farm inputs (corn, in particular). A number of world-class producers like Novozymes, Corbion and Evonik operate on the same Cargill campus in Blair.

Once completed, the Blair production facilities will play a pivotal role in accelerating the reduction of the cost-of-goods-sold for Evolva’s products, increasing the company’s long-term profitability. The facilities are expected to have sufficient capacity to generate an estimated USD 50 million-plus in annual product revenues for Evolva, over and above Evolva’s share of EverSweetTM profits, and provide room for further expansion.

Over the next three years, principally in 2018 and 2019, Evolva expects to invest an estimated USD 60 million in the combined fermentation and bioprocessing facilities for EverSweet™ and its other products. The recent CHF 30 million equity commitment from Yorkville serves as a foundation for this investment and Evolva expects to secure an additional project financing package of around CHF 30 million by end 2017, which will enable full execution of the plans.

The Advancement of Ethanol in Nebraska

http://www.nebraska.gov/policies/