Ten more corn ethanol plants were approved through the U.S. EPA’s efficient producer petition process (EP3) at the end of January, bringing the total to 19. Thefirst round of nine approvals were announced in December.
The 10 corn ethanol plants include Badger State Ethanol LLC, Green Plains Ord LLC, Lincolnland Agri-Energy LLC, Tharaldson Ethanol Plant 1 LLC, Dakota Ethanol LLC, Green Plains Shenandoah LLC, Lincolnway Energy LLC, Farmers Energy Cardinal LLC, Highwater Ethanol LLC and Quad County Corn Processors.
Late last year, the EPA streamlined the petition process used by producers wanting to demonstrate above-average greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. Ethanol producers must provide the bushels of corn processed, their natural gas and electricity consumption and the gallons of ethanol produced, which are then plugged into a new GHG calculation tool developed by the agency.
Under the current renewable fuels standard program(RFS), the production volume of existing corn ethanol plants was grandfathered in, and any new production above the gallons registered with the EPA are required, by law, to meet the 20 percent GHG reduction threshold when compared to the baseline gasoline. The average GHG reduction value for corn ethanol plants in the original 2010 modeling done by EPA was about 17 percent, including controversial indirect land use change emissions. Energy efficiency improvements and ethanol yield gains mean 19 ethanol producers can demonstrate GHG reductions better than 20 percent.