Headwaters Announces Start-up of 50 mgy Ethanol Facility

Headwaters Inc. and Great River Energy, headquartered in Elk River, Minnesota, announced the start-up of Blue Flint Ethanol LLC in Underwood, North Dakota.

The ethanol plant is co-located with the 1,100 megawatt (MW) Coal Creek Station and will use excess heat from the adjacent coal power plant to process an estimated 18 million bushels of corn into 50 million gallons of fuel ethanol annually. “We believe this is the first ethanol plant in the world to be directly integrated with a major power producer like the Coal Creek Station,” said Ken Frailey, president of Headwaters Energy Services. “It is a state-of-the-art facility and we expect Blue Flint to be one of the industry’s lowest-cost producers of ethanol.” “Great River Energy is pleased to see the much-anticipated startup of Blue Flint Ethanol. The unique integration with Coal Creek Station, and elimination of many costs associated with fuel, boilers and infrastructure, is significant in that it will help make Blue Flint a low-cost producer of ethanol,” said John Weeda, plant manager, Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station. Headwaters and Great River Energy began discussions to develop the ethanol facility in early 2005. A subsidiary of Headwaters is a majority owner, and a Headwaters company will act as Blue Flint’s operator, while Great River Energy, holding a minority position, will provide energy and related services to the plant. Great River Energy, Elk River, Minn. is a nonprofit generation and transmission cooperative providing electricity to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is the second largest power supplier in the state of Minnesota, and the fourth largest cooperative of its type in the nation. It owns and operates Coal Creek and Stanton stations in North Dakota.
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