FHR to Invest $50M in NE Ethanol Plant

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- Flint Hills Resources on Wednesday announced it will invest more than $50 million in its Fairmont, Nebraska, ethanol plant.

The investment will go toward installing a new technology that will produce a high-protein animal and fish feed ingredient from a portion of the plant's distiller's grains, a co-product of ethanol production.

The project is one of the largest investments in co-product upgrading technology ever made by a dry mill ethanol manufacturer, according to the company's release.

The new patented technology, which is called Maximize Stillage Co-Products, was developed exclusively for the drill mill ethanol industry by Fluid Quip Process Technologies. The Fairmont plant will just the fourth and, to date, the largest ethanol plant in the world to deploy the proven technology.

"MSC is an innovative, bolt-on technology that separates and upgrades a portion of distiller's grains into a cost-competitive, high-protein feed ingredient intended to help meet the growing need for protein in feed rations around the world," said Kevin Karasiuk, plant manager at Flint Hills Resources Fairmont. "The technology provides an exciting new platform for Flint Hills to compete in the alternative protein feed ingredient market."

The Fairmont MSC project will require significant construction including the addition of a new building and two protein dryers. Construction is expected to begin in the spring and will last about 12 months. The plant will remain in operation during construction.

The Flint Hills Resources Fairmont plant buys 42 million bushels of corn annually to produce 120 million gallons of ethanol, 310,000 tons of distiller's grains and nearly 20 million pounds of distiller's corn oil.

Fluid Quip Process Technologies will provide the MSC technology, separation equipment, process engineering, construction oversight, and startup support for the Fairmont system.