two surviving ventures face high hurdles
Ask just about anyone involved in the effort to start a home-grown ethanol industry in Hawaii and invariably the word "challenging" comes up.
Challenging, it turns out, is an understatement.
Four years ago companies were lining up to build ethanol production facilities in Hawaii after the state launched a program that offered generous tax credits and set a mandate that most gasoline sold in the state must contain 10 percent of the renewable fuel. Soaring ethanol prices, which hit a record $4.23 a gallon in the summer of 2006, also spurred interest. On the mainland, dozens of corn-based ethanol plants sprouted up across the Great Plains.
In Hawaii, meanwhile, plans were moving forward to erect ethanol plants that would mostly use sugar cane or sugar cane byproducts as a feedstock. Before any of the companies could get their permits approved, however, the price of ethanol collapsed, falling as low as $1.40 a gallon in late 2008. In addition to falling prices, difficulty in securing land to grow feedstocks and dwindling investor interest have made it difficult to get any new processing facilities up and running.
There were plans in recent years to build at least six plants in Hawaii to produce ethanol, an alcohol-based renewable fuel that can be made from a variety of organic materials, including sugar cane. Of the original six that were planned, only two are still on the books, and neither has a target date to begin construction.
Mansfield Oil Acquires Western Ethanol
Addition of established ethanol wholesaler and logistics provider broadens company service offering in Western US
Atlanta, GA (Vocus/PRWEB ) June 2, 2010 — Today, Mansfield Oil Company announces the acquisition of substantially all of Western Ethanol’s assets and the addition of Doug Vind to the Mansfield team. Orange County, CA-based Western Ethanol is a leading ethanol wholesaler and logistics provider and is led by industry innovator Vind. In addition to providing bulk deliveries of ethanol, Western Ethanol specializes in the distribution of E85 for use in Flex Fuel Vehicles and is a leading distributor of E85 in the western United States.
Our acquisition of Western Ethanol is an important addition to our renewable fuels strategy and provides Western’s customers and suppliers with long-term stability in a partner they have valued for many years
We are also excited to add Doug Vind to our management team. He has been an innovator in the ethanol industry over the past two decades and we look forward to integrating his vision and experience into our long-term strategy for our renewable fuels business.
I’m proud to have Doug on our team and by leveraging his experience in the west, in conjunction with the C&N division nationally and our ethanol team in Charlottesville, VA we will now have the most complete nationwide ethanol marketing and supply team in the country.
We look forward to offering our customers the additional supply chain management capabilities provided by Mansfield being able to grow both our wholesaling efforts and proprietary ethanol transloading services business with their support
Western Ethanol’s customers include major gasoline refiners and large gasoline blenders for bulk ethanol sales, as well as independent gasoline retailers and federal, state and municipal automotive fleets for E85 sales throughout California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii.