An alliance has been formed in the United States to market all the ethanol produced by three companies.
TULSA, Oklahoma – Williams Bio-Energy will market all the ethanol produced by Heartland Grain Fuels, Minnesota Energy and Sunrise Energy. The alliance went into effect on January 1, but financial terms were not disclosed. The company is a subsidiary of Williams, the second-largest producer and marketer of ethanol in the U.S. It owns and operates a 100 million gallon annual capacity facility in Pekin, Illinois, and owns three quarters of of Nebraska Energy L.L.C. It is extending its distribution system because of the growing demand for ethanol as a renewable fuel. Large market opportunities for fuel ethanol are developing in California as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is phased out by 2003 under that state’s Clean Burning Gasoline regulations. MTBE in reformulated gasoline will be eliminated in New York and Connecticut by 2004. “Williams is meeting this demand growth through expanding relationships to purchase and re-sell ethanol produced by third parties through the company’s extensive distribution system,” says Ron Miller, president of ethanol operations. Ethanol is a renewable fuel that is used as a high-quality octane enhancer and as an oxygenate that can reduce air pollution and improve performance of automobiles. Ethanol-blended fuels account for 12 percent of all automotive fuels sold in the U.S., says Miller.