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Posted on  

January 17, 2001

Williams Bio-Energy Forms Alliance With Three Companies to Market Ethanol

Williams Bio-Energy, a business unit of Williams, has announced that it recently formed an alliance to market all the ethanol produced by Heartland Grain Fuels, L.P., Minnesota Energy and Sunrise Energy.

Financial terms of the alliance, which went into effect Jan. 1., were not disclosed.

Williams is the second-largest producer and marketer of ethanol in the United States. Williams owns and operates a 100-million gallon annual capacity facility in Pekin, Ill., and owns 75 percent of Nebraska Energy L.L.C.

Ron Miller, president of ethanol operations for Williams Bio-Energy, said the company is extending its distribution system primarily because of the growing demand for ethanol. Large market opportunities for fuel ethanol are developing in California as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is being phased out of California Clean Burning Gasoline regulations by 2003. Additionally, MTBE in reformulated gasoline is being eliminated in New York and Connecticut by 2004.

"Williams is meeting this demand growth through expanding relationships to purchase and re-sell ethanol produced by third parties through the company's extensive distribution system -- a system unmatched in the industry," Miller said.

Ethanol is a domestic, renewable fuel that is used as a high-quality octane enhancer and, as an oxygenate, capable of reducing air pollution and improving automobile performance, Miller said. Ethanol-blended fuels account for more than 12 percent of all automotive fuels sold in the United States.

About Williams

Williams, through its subsidiaries, connects businesses to energy and communications. The company delivers innovative, reliable products and services through its extensive networks of energy-distributing pipelines and high-speed fiber-optic cables. Williams information is available at www.williams.com.

Portions of this document may constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined by federal law. Although the company believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the "safe harbor" protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the company's annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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