Iowa's 2006 ethanol production levels to hit record
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)--The state will produce a record 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol in 2006, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said Dec. 20.
The trade group said Iowa ethanol plants will turn out 36 percent more corn-based fuel than last year, when 1.1 billion gallons was made.
In producing the record amount of ethanol, Iowa's ethanol plants processed over 550 million bushels of corn, or about 25 percent of the state's 2.16 billion bushel corn harvest from 2005
"There was record demand for ethanol from coast to coast this year and Iowa stepped up to fill the need," said Monte Shaw, IRFA Executive Director. "In fact, Iowa ethanol refineries will produce just over 30 percent of the entire 2006 U.S. ethanol production."
Iowa has more ethanol plants than any other state, Shaw said.
In December, U.S. BioEnergy's ethanol refinery in Albert City began production, bringing the total number of ethanol plants in the state to 26. The annual production capacity is 1.7 billion gallons.
Iowa has 16 new ethanol plants and five major expansions under construction. They will add 1.6 billion gallons to Iowa's annual production capacity. IRFA estimates that a dozen new projects could begin in 2007 adding yet another 1.4 billion gallons of capacity.