Sioux Falls, South Dakota [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Under the backdrop of the overall U.S. ethanol industry having set another all-time monthly production record, East Kansas Agri Energy broke ground on their new dry-mill ethanol facility in Garnett, Kansas.East Kansas Agri Energy will produce 26 million gallons of ethanol annually. The plant’s process design will be provided by ICM, Inc. of Colwich, Kansas, with Fagen, Inc. of Granite Falls, Minnesota, serving as the design/builder. “We congratulate East Kansas Agri Energy on reaching this milestone, and we wish them the best during the plant’s construction,” said Brian Jennings, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Executive Vice President. “The team should be very proud of their success thus far and of the impact this plant will have on Kansas’ agriculture and economy.” Overall, the ethanol industry has been busy at work, consistently breaking their monthly production records of months past. This August topped out at 225,000 barrels per day (b/d). These latest figures were released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy. The August record eclipses the previous all-time record set in June at 222,000 b/d. “The U.S. ethanol industry is setting new production levels month after month, driving forward to produce nearly 3.5 billion gallons this year,” Jennings said. “Every gallon of ethanol produced in the U.S. takes us one step closer to energy independence.” This year, the U.S. will produce nearly 3.5 billion gallons of ethanol. More than a dozen ethanol plants are under construction. In 2003, the nation’s plants produced a record 2.81 billion gallons of the fuel, up from 2.12 billion gallons the previous year. Kansas currently has six operating ethanol plants, producing more than 130 million gallons of ethanol annually. “Ethanol production in this country adds more than three billion gallons of clean-burning fuel to our nation’s supply, which is critical in these times of high-priced crude oil and tight supply,” Jennings said. “Not only is ethanol advantageous for agriculture and economic development, it is a serious, immediate way to do something about our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.” Currently 79 ethanol plants are operating across the country, and a more than a dozen are under construction. Take together, America’s farmer-owned ethanol facilities comprise the single largest producer of ethanol in the U.S.