Western New York Energy plans capacity upgrade (June 27, 2015)
Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2015 12:09 am
The Batavia Daily News
By Jim Krencik firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDINA — Even with capacity for 1 million bushels of corn and an efficient operation, Western New York Energy isn’t immune from gluts and shortages of supply.
The ethanol-producing Medina plant has occasionally had to turn away local corn suppliers at peak times and has watched its reserves drain down when winter storms prevented new deliveries.
President and CEO Michael Sawyer said Thursday that an 800,000-bushel bulk corn storage silo planned for construction this summer will provide flexibility on both ends of the supply spectrum and room to grow the business in the future.
“(The added capacity) allows us more flexibility on receiving local corn,” Sawyer said. “It puts us in a position where we don’t have to turn away deliveries because we’re full and more capacity is important for logistics because we’ll have sufficient supplies on hand.”
The Bates Road complex currently has two 500,000-bushel bins, which combined can hold an 18-day supply of corn WNY Energy uses to produce ethanol, corn oil and material for an adjoining CO2 plant.
The project, which Orleans County Planning Board members supported Thursday, will cost about $2 million and is scheduled to begin construction in July. The proposed 105-foot wide and 142-foot tall steel bin will be situated south of the existing silos on a cleared area of land visible from Maple Ridge Road.
WNY Energy started ethanol production at the Medina site in 2007, taking in frequent truckloads of corn grown and stored at nearby farms. The added room will provide additional revenue for growers currently dealing with a decline in corn prices in time for this year’s harvest.
Sawyer said the project will not create an immediate need for workforce expansion, although the capacity will allow future operational growth that would facilitate job growth.
“Our plan is to prepare for the future, and the expansion facilitates a plant expansion that would need new equipment and additional capital expenditures,” Sawyer said.
Growth around the ethanol industry has largely been focused on expansions into new products, but capacity limitations are a hindrance.
“Having done what we can in those areas, we’re now looking at what other improvements we can make,” Sawyer said. “As we looked at expansion opportunities, the need for additional storage arises.”
Ethanol plant will make $2M investment in added grain storage (June 15, 2015)
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 June 2015
MEDINA – Western New York Energy plans to add an 800,000-bushel storage facility to the ethanol plant at the corner of Bates Road and Route 31A.
The $2 million project will allow the company to take in more local corn and have more flexibility for deliveries, especially when farmers try to deliver corn before harsh weather, said Michael Sawyer, WNY Energy chief executive officer.
The company currently has 1 million bushels of storage space with two 500,000-bushel grain bins. They can hold about 18 days worth of corn when the plant is at full capacity. The plant, which opened in November 2007, uses about 20 million bushels of corn annually to produce 55 million gallons of ethanol.
Sawyer said the company is considering an expansion and 800,000 bushels of added grain storage would help with an expansion in the future. In the short-term, the extra storage will allow the plant to receive more corn and have more on site when weather can sometimes wreak havoc at harvest in the fall or in delivering the crop during the winter.
“Weather in our industry can make it difficult on us and corn growers,” Sawyer said.
Farmers sometimes try to beat bad weather and the ethanol plant’s storage can be at capacity, forcing the company to turn away some farmers until there is more storage space. The added storage will allow WNY Energy to better accommodate farmers, Sawyer said.
The Orleans Economic Development Agency is working on a sales tax exemption for the project. If it costs $2 million in materials and equipment, the sales tax exemption would save WNY Energy $160,000.
Jim Whipple, the EDA executive director, is working on setting up the public hearing at the Shelby Town Hall for that sales tax exemption.
Sawyer said the company is eager to get started on construction for the project.
EPA Approves Efficient Producer Pathway for WNYE and 7 other ethanol plants (June 2, 2015)
By Erin Voegele | June 02, 2015
Ethanol Producer Magazine
In late May, the U.S. EPA approved eight new corn starch pathway under the Efficient Producer pathway petition process, including pathways for Bushmills Ethanol Inc. Atwater, Glacial Lakes Energy Watertown, GLE Aberdeen Energy, Granite Falls Energy LLC, Kansas Ethanol LLC Lyons, Show Me Ethanol LLC Carrollton, Valero Renewable Fuels Co. LLC Hartley and Western New York Energy Medina.
Plants that have approved Efficient Producer pathways are able to generate renewable identification numbers (RINs) for production volumes above those grandfathered under current RFS regulations. A total of 32 plants have now been awarded pathway approvals under the program since the EPA launched the Efficient Producer pathway petition process last year.
The Efficient Producer petition process was designed by EPA to expedite processing of the large number of petitions submitted by corn starch and grain sorghum ethanol producers. When the renewable fuels standard (RFS) was established in its current form, the rulemaking grandfathered in the production volume of existing corn ethanol plants. To qualify for compliance with the RFS program, any new production above the grandfathered gallons must meet a 20 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction threshold when compared to the program’s gasoline baseline. The Efficient Producer pathway petition process is designed to aid ethanol plants in gaining pathway approval for expanded production above those grandfathered volumes.
Documents published by the EPA indicates Bushmills Atwater achieved 21.2 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction level for its non-grandfathered volumes, while GLE Watertown achieved a 24.7 percent reduction, Aberdeen Energy achieved a 20.1 percent reduction, Granite Falls achieved a 26 percent reduction; Kansas Ethanol Lyons achieved a 29.3 percent reduction, SME Carrollton achieved a 20.5 percent reduction, Valero Hartley achieved a 22.3 percent reduction, and WNYE Medina achieved a 20.8 percent reduction.
The eight new plants join five facilities awarded Efficient Producer pathway approvals in March, 10 facilities that had pathways approved in February, and nine producers that were granted Efficient Producer pathways in December.
Western New York Energy Becomes Newest Growth Energy Member (July 29, 2014)
Author: Growth Energy
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Growth Energy, the largest trade association for U.S. ethanol producers and supporters, welcomed Western New York Energy LLC as its newest member. Western New York Energy is located in Medina, N.Y.
“We are excited that Western New York Energy has joined the Growth Energy team,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “Western New York Energy is an outstanding, locally owned company that provides jobs for the people of New York that cannot be outsourced, reduces our dangerous dependence on foreign oil and improves our environment.”
Michael Sawyer, President and CEO of Western New York Energy, commended the partnership stating, “By joining Growth Energy, we will be able to further our mission of developing the full potential of western New York’s renewable resources and solidify our commitment to clean, renewable and domestic energy.”
Western New York Energy LLC processes approximately 20 million bushels of corn into over 55 million gallons of ethanol annually, which is blended with gasoline throughout western New York. The facility also produces 160,000 tons of highly nutritious animal feed for the region.
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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of ethanol who feed the world and fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans now. For more information, please visit us at www.GrowthEnergy.org, follow us on Twitter @GrowthEnergy or connect with us on Facebook.
WNYE/EPCO Press Release: EPCO Carbon Dioxide Products, Inc. CO2 Production Plant is coming to Shelby, NY (May 17, 2007)
Western New York Energy, LLC is pleased to announce it has entered into a long term agreement with EPCO Carbon Dioxide Products, Inc. to provide raw carbon dioxide feedstock from its Shelby, NY ethanol plant to EPCO's adjacent carbon dioxide liquefaction plant. This new carbon dioxide plant will become operational during June 2008 and will bring approximately 15-20 new plant and trucking positions to the Shelby area.
This carbon dioxide liquefaction plant will produce up to 300 tons per day of refined liquid carbon dioxide recovered from the ethanol plant's fermentation process. Carbon dioxide is used in numerous beneficial applications within the food processing, beverage, oil recovery, municipal water treatment and chemical industries.
John Sawyer, CEO of Western New York Energy, LLC said "We are pleased to announce this agreement with EPCO, who, as the leading supplier of refined liquid carbon dioxide in the Gulf Coast and Midwest states, has demonstrated an outstanding track record in successfully commissioning seven other ethanol feedstock based carbon dioxide production plants. EPCO will refine the carbon dioxide feedstock into beverage and food grade liquid carbon dioxide for distribution in New York and other Northeastern states to fulfill a strong market need for the reliable and lower cost supply of liquid carbon dioxide within this area."
About Western New York Energy:
Western New York Energy, LLC is building the first green field fuel ethanol plant in the Northeast United States. The $90 million project in Shelby NY will produce in excess of 50 million gallons of fuel grade ethanol per year.
Ethanol is a clean burning, high octane, and domestically produced fuel that helps reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
Ethanol plant construction is currently underway and the plant is scheduled to begin production in November 2007. The ethanol plant will employ 50 full time employees and process approximately 20 million bushels of corn annually to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol, 160,000 tons of distiller's grain, 1.2 million gallons of corn oil, and over 100,000 tons of raw carbon dioxide gas that will be processed by the EPCO carbon dioxide liquefaction plant.
About EPCO Carbon Dioxide Products, Inc.:
EPCO, headquartered in Monroe, LA., was founded in 1987 and is the leading refiner and distributor of bulk liquid carbon dioxide within the central United States. The company currently owns and operates eight liquid carbon dioxide production plants.
In addition to the new Shelby, NY plant, EPCO is currently engaged in constructing three additional liquid carbon dioxide plants within the central United States located in Malta Bend, MO; and Marion, IN; and Milton, WI. These three plants will become operational in April, 2007; June, 2007: and January 2008, respectively. With the July 1st, 2008 commissioning of the new Shelby, NY plant, these 12 modern carbon dioxide liquefaction plants will produce over 3,400 tons of refined liquid carbon dioxide per day.
EPCO provides liquid carbon dioxide supply service to its customers in a market area that includes the Gulf Coast, Midwest and, with the start up of the Shelby, NY plant, the Northeastern United States.
For additional information on Western New York Energy please visit our website at www.wnyenergy.com or contact Michael Sawyer, Project Manager, at (585) 798-9693.
For additional information on EPCO please visit our website at www.epcoco2.com or contact Tom Gannon, Vice President Sales & Marketing, at 440-930-4779.
The Future is Calling – Ethanol (May 09,2006)
by Donn Esmonde of The Buffalo News
The future is in a farm field just off Bates Road in Orleans County. In a stretch of dirt and scrub brush lies a key to jobs - and more. On 144 empty acres is likely coming an industry of the 21st century - coming to an area with too many jobs tied to a vanishing past.
On the edge of Medina, a land of cornstalks and cows, lies not just a remedy for a town's return to health. We can hitch our tractors to an industry of the future. We can turn corn into something like liquid gold. And something more: We can take a small step away from our addiction to foreign oil, and the murky geopolitics and military messes it pulls us into.
The governor announced this week that an $87 million ethanol plant will be built here. It will turn corn our farmers grow into fuel to power our cars. It will bring 500 jobs, and multiples of that number if a rumored carbon dioxide bottling plant and other businesses follow.
"It is a lot better to purchase [fuel] products from farmers in Medina than from ayatollahs in Iran," Gov. Pataki said.
Whether Pataki, who may run for president, is ethanol-friendly because of politics or practicality doesn't matter. What matters is we are - for once - ahead of the field in an industry with a future. The ethanol-blend fuel E85 is cheaper than unleaded gas, burns cleaner and more engines are being made - many of them at the GM plant in the Town of Tonawanda - that can use it.
It is good for the farmers. It is good for the area. It is good for America.
We have seen time after time, loss after loss, what happens when an economy is tied too tightly to an industrial past. From Bethlehem Steel to General Motors to Delphi, the hits keep coming. The loss of jobs hurts families, fuels an exodus to other states and batters our communal psyche.
Folks here have seen it for themselves. Fisher-Price 10 years ago closed its Medina factory and headed to Mexico. Last week BernzOmatic, which makes propane torches, said it was moving its 200 Medina jobs to Shanghai.
"We'd heard that if things didn't get better, maybe there would be some changes in a couple of years," said Richard Jenkinson, who worked at BernzOmatic for 15 years. "Nobody expected it this soon."
Jenkinson and 200 others are the latest casualties of our over-industrialized economy. We have suffered enough. Ethanol is likely here to stay. We have the corn. We likely soon will have the plant. America has the need for alternative fuels.
It is nice, for once, to have a hand in a new technology. It is good to have a stake in an industry whose best years are ahead of it, not a memory.
Dale Watts knows about memories.
"I'm not sure we've ever recovered from Fisher-Price leaving," said Watts, Shelby's deputy supervisor, wiping his hands Tuesday morning after emerging from a bay at his auto shop. "This brings us a little sunshine."
Shelby soon will have the only ethanol-producing plant in the state. Sitting in a tractor Tuesday in a field off Scott Road, pulling a 12-row corn planter, Todd Roberts said it was good news.
Roberts has been farming, mostly corn, all of his life. Like most farmers, he is mortgaged and leveraged "up to my neck."
The necktie just loosened.
"What this gives us," said Roberts, "is more long-term market options. Anything that increases the demand [for corn] is good."
The higher gas prices go, the worse things get in the Middle East, the better ethanol looks. Which makes it look like a sure thing.
The future is coming to a dirt field near Medina. The future looks good. It looks good whether you are sitting in a tractor in a cornfield, in a car at a traffic light - or in a tank in Baghdad.
State Spurs Ethanol Plant (May 09, 2006)
Work at Orleans County site may start in June, be first in N.Y.
by David Tyler of The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
SHELBY - Construction on the state's first ethanol plant could begin as early as next month, helping to turn New York into a leader in alternative fuel production, Gov. George Pataki and other officials said here Monday.
New York will spend nearly $6 million to help the process along, officials said.
Western New York Energy LLC plans to spend $87.4 million to build on 144 acres in this Orleans County town. The plant should be open by early 2008, Western principal John Sawyer said.
The plant will produce 50 million gallons of ethanol a year and create 58 jobs, officials said.
Pataki, speaking with a farm field as a backdrop at Shelby Town Hall, said the plant and others like it will also help to wean the country from dependence on foreign oil.
"It is just, in my view, tragic that in the 21st century we still have that dependency," Pataki said.
Pataki also said that as many as 500 jobs would be created in ancillary industries such as transportation and agriculture. The plant will use 20 million bushels of corn a year, with 6 million expected to come from New York state farms.
The state support includes $3.1 million to help build rail and other transportation access to the site and $435,000 in the form of a grant. Western New York Energy also will be eligible for up to $2.5 million in renewable energy production tax credits. The plant site, near Route 31A and Bates Road, also is in an Empire Zone, which would entitle the business to state tax breaks over 10 years.
Federal officials are considering a $25 million package of loans and incentives for the plant, said U.S. Rep. Thomas Reynolds, R-Clarence, Erie County. "Hopefully more (businesses) will follow Western New York Energy into ethanol," Reynolds said.
The Shelby plant is one of at least three ethanol projects being planned around central and western New York and looks to be the first to break ground.
A coalition of corn growers plans a 50 million-gallon-a-year plant in Seneca County and is trying to decide whether to place the plant in Seneca Falls or at the old Seneca Army Depot in Romulus.
Northeast Biofuels has proposed a 100 million-gallon-a-year plant in Fulton, Oswego County.
As the price of gasoline continues to rise, ethanol has become a more economically attractive option for producers. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have launched ambitious campaigns to market ethanol-powered vehicles, which have helped public awareness.
New York's strong heritage in agriculture, chemistry and engineering also make it an attractive place to build such plants, experts say.
Distillers' grains and carbon dioxide, two byproducts of ethanol production, also are in high demand, and the Shelby plant expects to sell those byproducts, said Mike Sawyer, John Sawyer's son and another principal in the project.
After looking at sites in five counties, Western New York Energy chose Shelby because of its proximity to road and rail transportation, the area's solid work force and the reception the idea received, John Sawyer said.
"The support here from the community has been fantastic," he said.
Pataki has proposed bringing alternative fuels to New York state Thruway rest stops and offering consumers incentives for buying alternative fuel vehicles.
Albion farmer Joe Panek attended Monday's announcement and said the ethanol plant comes as welcome news to farmers. The ability to sell the crop close to home will save him $30,000 to $50,000 a year, he said.
"To have a market locally is fantastic," he said.
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