Blue Flint Ethanol Celebrates 10 Years of Successful Operations
Midwest AgEnergy Group’s Blue Flint Ethanol facility celebrates 10 years of successful operations
Blue Flint Ethanol celebrated a successful 10 years of operations today during an onsite celebration at the ethanol biorefinery near Underwood, N.D.
“We are proud to be celebrating 10 years of successful operations at our Blue Flint facility. This success has been a team effort driven by our dedicated employees and supported by our business partners and the local and state community. We are grateful for the many opportunities this business has created and shared and we continue to improve our business every day,” Jeff Zueger, CEO of Midwest AgEnergy Group, the North Dakota biofuels enterprise that owns Blue Flint Ethanol.
Located adjacent to Coal Creek Station, Blue Flint Ethanol is the first co-located, directly integrated ethanol plant in the world. The plant’s location is a key factor in making Blue Flint one of the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly ethanol plants in the country. The secret is in the steam. As a by-product of generating electricity, Coal Creek Station produces process steam which Blue Flint Ethanol uses as the thermal energy in its ethanol production process.
Since Blue Flint began producing ethanol and dried distillers grains in February 2007, the plant has evolved into a biorefinery, integrating corn oil production and an E85 blending station.
Blue Flint Ethanol, a 70 million gallon facility, has produced over 650 million gallons of ethanol in its 10 years of operations. That ethanol is shipped via truck or rail to markets in the United States and Canada and has helped reduce the carbon intensity of our nation’s transportation fuels. Blue Flint ethanol has been certified as a low-carbon renewable fuel in many areas of North America.
A blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol produces a high-octane, clean-burning fuel that can be used in all vehicles. Blue Flint Ethanol also has a blending facility that is used to produce E85, which is up to 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85 is used in flexible-fuel vehicles and can be used to create E15 and E30, both high octane fuels.
The transportation industry has driven over 20 billion miles using E10 from Blue Flint Ethanol. Also, using ethanol from Blue Flint Ethanol instead of gasoline has resulted in the displacement of 4.4 million tons of carbon dioxide.
“Blue Flint Ethanol is an American success story. Whether it’s using the steam produced by the neighboring Coal Creek Station to power its ethanol production process, or growing its operation into an all-encompassing biorefinery, Blue Flint Ethanol embodies the spirit of ingenuity and progress that makes the ethanol industry such a valuable part of the American energy and fuel sector. We applaud them on an amazing 10 years and are looking forward to decades more of continued success,” says Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy.
Blue Flint Ethanol uses 24 million bushels of corn annually, ensuring a steady market for this locally-grown community. In addition to ethanol, that corn is used to make 200,000 tons of distillers grains annually, enough to feed about 300,000 head of cattle, and over 2 million gallons of corn oil per year which is marketed for use as a feedstock for the biodiesel production process.
“Blue Flint is a viable part of our economy, they have created a market for our corn farmers, distiller grains for livestock producers and jobs in our community,” says Doug Goehring, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner.
Blue Flint Ethanol, which uses 2,700 bushels of corn each hour of production, has modern, high-efficiency corn receiving with storage of 1.5 million bushels.
Coal Creek Drying & Storage, a grain drying and storage facility was added in 2010 to serve Blue Flint Ethanol and the local farming community. Located adjacent to Blue Flint Ethanol, the facility can dry up to 4,000 bushels-per-hour of corn and can store 2.2 million bushels.
The plant provides jobs for 43 skilled employees. Those workers have compiled approximately 1 million total man hours worked in the past 10 years. The facility and its employees also recently celebrated 10 years of no lost-time accidents, an exemplary safety record for the ethanol biorefinery.
Blue Flint was constructed at a cost of $95 million and was named from the blue flint corn grown by Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Indian tribes that once lived in the Missouri River Valley, near the plant.
Blue Flint Ethanol is owned by Midwest AgEnergy Group, a North Dakota biofuels enterprise that also owns Dakota Spirit AgEnergy, a 65 million gallon per year biorefinery located near Spiritwood, N.D. Together with its partners, Midwest AgEnergy Group is building a renewable energy future for the country, increasing demand for North Dakota farmers and bringing prosperity to our communities.
The photo shows Blue Flint Ethanol in the foreground and Coal Creek Station in the background.