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Posted on  

July 9, 2001

Williams Forms Marketing Agreement With Northeast Iowa Grain Processors Cooperative

A unit of Williams (NYSE: WMB - news) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to market all fuel grade ethanol produced by Northeast Iowa Grain Processors Cooperative, based in Earlville, Iowa. The Northeast Iowa relationship marks Williams Bio-Energy, LLC's seventh ethanol marketing agreement in the past two quarters. Financial terms of the Northeast Iowa agreement, which went into effect June 29, were not disclosed.

Ron Miller, vice president of 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. A decision from the Environmental Protection Agency last month further affirmed ethanol's environmental benefits. Additionally, MTBE in reformulated gasoline is being eliminated in New York and Connecticut by 2004.

``Williams meets this demand growth through expanding relationships to purchase and re-sell ethanol produced by third parties through the company's extensive distribution system,'' Miller said. ``Our agreements with Northeast Iowa Grain Processors Cooperative and other producers including Tri-State Ethanol Company, LLC [Rosholt, S.D.], Quad County Corn Processors Cooperative [Galva, Iowa], Heartland Grain Fuels [Aberdeen and Huron, S.D.] and Sunrise Energy [Blairstown, Iowa] help us meet market needs.''

EPA Finalizes Program To Help Reduce Cost Of Gasoline In Midwest

Last week EPA Administrator Christie Whitman signed a final rule to help reduce costs for blending ethanol into gasoline, an action that formalizes the Agency's March 15 decision.

The rule makes it easier for oil refiners to use ethanol in cleaner-burning gasoline supplied to the Chicago and Milwaukee areas, while continuing to achieve air quality benefits in the reformulated gasoline (RFG) program. It provides flexibility for refiners and helps reduce costs for blending ethanol into gasoline by adjusting the volatile organic compounds (VOC) standards for ethanol reformulated gasoline, which should also help boost supply. In March, EPA issued an enforcement discretion for these areas, allowing the adjustment to take place prior to this rule being made final. This action recognizes the environmental benefits of ethanol and ensures that it will continue to play a significant role in the cleaner-burning RFG program. The action is specific to Chicago and Milwaukee because they are the only areas of the country that use ethanol exclusively in RFG. Increased VOC emissions can occur from combining RFG made with the oxygenate methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and RFG made with ethanol in automobile gasoline tanks. For the first time the Midwest refiners will receive credit toward their carbon monoxide reduction as recommended to the Agency by the National Academy of Science. The final rule and supporting documents can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/rfg.htm


 

 

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