A public open house and ribbon cutting were recently held to celebrate Kearney Area Ag Producers Alliance’s (KAAPA) acquisition of the former Abengoa Bioenergy facility near Ravenna, Neb. Since acquiring the facility last fall, KAAPA has begun a $40 million dollar construction effort to make improvements, such as additional grain storage, and increase the plant’s capacity from 90 to 120 million gallons of ethanol per year.
“It’s been a busy six months, and we have a busy six months ahead of us,” said Chuck Woodside, CEO of KAAPA Ethanol, to the Grand Island Independent.
At its current production level, the facility uses 31 million bushels of corn per year to makes 160,000 tons of dried distiller’s grain and 400,000 tons of wet distiller’s grain, not to mention the ethanol produced. The dried product is shipped to Colorado and Kansas for cattle feed while the wet distillers is marketed in a 90 mile radius of the plant. The ethanol is primarily marketed in the Phoenix and Dallas areas.
According to plant engineer Mike Tveit, KAAPA’s wants to improve plant logistics and efficiency. “Our goal at harvest, there is no one closer who can take that corn faster.”
The Ravenna plant employs over 50 people. KAAPA Ethanol also owns and operates an ethanol plant near Minden, Nebraska.
Nebraska is currently the second leading producing state in the nation.
KAAPA Ethanol is served electrically by Dawson Public Power District, a wholesale customer of Nebraska Public Power District.