|Ethanol plants in the US in operation and under construction. Click to enlarge.|
US ethanol production—the vast majority from corn—increased in June to 318,000 barrels per day (bpd), an increase of nearly 28% from June 2005 and an all-time record, according to statistics released by the Renewable Fuels Association.
Demand for ethanol also rose to record levels in June at 395,000 bpd. That represents a 46,000 bpd jump from May and an increase of more than 42% from the same period a year ago. Imports and stock draw downs made up the gap.
The US consumed 283 million barrels of gasoline in June 2006—0.6% more than in June 2005—or 9.4 million barrels per day.
Currently, 101 ethanol biorefineries nationwide have the capacity to produce more than 4.8 billion gallons annually, or 114 million barrels. The US consumed 140 billion gallons of gasoline in 2005 (3.3 billion barrels). Ethanol production capacity thus represented 3.4% of consumption in 2005.
There are 42 ethanol refineries and 7 expansions under construction with a combined annual additional capacity of nearly 2.9 billion gallons.
Separately, Panda Ethanol announced that it would construct another 100-million-gallon (2.4-million-barrel) per year ethanol plant in Sherman County, Texas. The facility will annually refine approximately 40 million bushels of corn and milo into fuel ethanol.
The Sherman plant will generate the steam used in the ethanol manufacturing process by gasifying more than 1 billion pounds of cattle manure a year. Once complete, it will be one of the most fuel efficient ethanol refineries in the nation and equal in size to Panda’s Hereford facility which is the largest biomass-fueled ethanol plant in the United States.
The Sherman facility is the fourth 100 million gallon ethanol project announced by Panda, and the third to be powered by cattle manure.
Panda Ethanol previously announced that it successfully completed the debt and equity financing on its 100 million gallon ethanol plant in Hereford, Texas. The company has begun facility construction on the 380-acre site and anticipates ethanol production to commence in the second half of 2007. The company also announced that it has entered into a merger agreement with Cirracor, a publicly-held corporation which trades over the counter. The merger is currently expected to become effective in the fourth quarter of 2006, subject to the satisfaction of certain requirements, and the combined entity will operate under the name of Panda Ethanol Inc.