Corn growers greet Green Plains ethanol production in Virginia

The Hopewell ethanol facility opened in April 2014 as the East Coast’s first ethanol operation. | File photo
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) this week congratulated Green Plains Inc. on the opening of its Hopewell, Virginia ethanol production facility, calling for further expansion of renewable fuels on the nation’s East Coast.
 
“We are excited to see ethanol production back up and running in Virginia,” NCGA president Chip Bowling, who grows corn, soybeans, and sorghum on his own land just 100 miles away from Hopewell in the community of Newburg, Maryland, said. “The Hopewell plant will give Mid-Atlantic farmers another market for their crop. It’s good for the ag economy, and for consumers, who will now have access to renewable fuels grown and produced even closer to home. This is win-win.”
 
The Hopewell ethanol facility opened in April 2014 as the East Coast’s first ethanol operation, producing ethanol from corn, barley and other small grains.  After the plant ceased production in August 2015, Green Plains Inc. of Omaha bought the facility. Its 14 ethanol plants now yield a total production capacity of approximately 1.2 billion gallons of ethanol annually.
 
Bowling said the return of ethanol production to the East Coast is perfectly timed for the industry.
 
“Corn farmers across the country are expecting another bumper crop in 2016, [when] prices have already fallen below production costs.” he said. “The National Corn Growers Association is working together with industry and government to build demand for corn, and bring farmers back to profitability.”
 
NCGA advises corn farmers and processors, as well as representing their interests before regulating agencies, legislators and the general public.
 
 “We need to keep investing in our ethanol infrastructure, especially here on the East Coast, to meet demand from consumers where they live and work,” Bowling said.

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