Ten years ago, the Indiana ethanol industry was just getting off the ground. In the past decade, Indiana has made some amazing progress in building and growing ethanol production. In 2006, Indiana’s first modern ethanol production plant was built in Jasper County, and plants came on-line in many more rural communities over the next two years. There are now 13 ethanol plants producing over 1.1 billion gallons a year and creating demand for almost half of the state’s corn crop.
Ken Parrent, with the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, says a pro-ethanol policy by state government was a major factor in this success story, “Our governors, starting with Mitch Daniels, through Pence and now Holcomb, have been supportive of ethanol in our state.” This support to the formation of economic incentives and policies that fostered the development of the industry. In addition, Indiana corn farmers have made a major investment in helping to foster the growth of the corn-based ethanol sector. “Over the past 10 years, Indiana has become a national leader in the ethanol industry due to the innovative collaboration of the state’s corn farmers, ethanol producers, fuel retailers, and local governments,” said Mike Beard, vice president of ICGA.
As a result of this growth, Indiana corn farmers have seen significantly higher prices. Parrent said Indiana corn prices are higher because of ethanol, “Our corn prices are 50 cents to as much as a dollar higher than other states like North Dakota because we have this extra demand for our corn.”
Parrent sees a bright future for the state’s ethanol sector, “Ten years from now, we will see even more growth and demand for corn from ethanol.” He added that a new ethanol plant in Indiana is a possibility in the near future. “As we look to the next 10 years of ethanol production in Indiana, we look forward to growing the industry in breadth and depth as we advocate for policies that support ethanol in the United States,” stated Beard. Parrent said, even with the advent of electric cars and other fuel sources, ethanol will continue to grow as new engines require the higher octane levels that ethanol can provide.
Indiana ethanol plants in order of development:
- Iroquois Bioenergy – Rensselaer
- The Andersons Clymers Ethanol – Logansport
- Poet Biorefining – Portland
- Central Indiana Ethanol – Marion
- Valero Energy – Linden
- Poet Biorefining – Alexandria
- Green Plains Renewable Energy – Bluffton
- Poet Biorefining – North Manchester
- Cardinal Ethanol – Union City