Cargill recently announced plans for a new 110-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant at its Blair, Neb., corn-processing complex. The new plant would more than double the Blair facility's ethanol capacity from its current 85-million-gallons per year. It would raise Cargill's total annual U.S. production capacity to 230 million gallon, making it the nation's second-largest ethanol producer. Combined with distribution agreements signed or pending with independent producers, Cargill expects to have the ability to supply more than 750 million gallons yearly.

Pending permitting and incentive approvals, construction will begin in the spring of 2006 with production commencing in late 2007. Cargill expects to hire 30 to 50 additional full-time employees in connection with the facility's operation. The expansion is the latest step in Cargill Blair's continuing shift in focus toward industrial non-food uses of corn such as ethanol, bioplastics and amino acids.

"This is good news for our customers and for the farmers who supply us," said Brian Silvey, manager for fermentation and ethanol for Cargill. "Added to our distribution agreements with independent ethanol plants across the country, this new capacity enhances our ability to reliably meet growing global demand well into the future."

Beyond its own production, Cargill has developed a comprehensive package of services and tools to help independent ethanol producers manage, protect and grow their ethanol businesses. These services include capital financing, grain origination and grain and energy risk management, and marketing of ethanol and distillers grains.

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