Great Plains Inc. opened their Hopewell, Virginia ethanol plant this week. National Corn Growers Association President, Chip Bowling, was on hand to congratulate the company on its accomplishment and express his hope for further expansion of ethanol on the East Coast.
“We are excited to see ethanol production back up and running in Virginia,” said Bowling. “The Hopewell plant will give Mid-Atlantic farmers another market for their crop. It’s good for the ag economy, and for consumers, who will now have access to renewable fuels grown and produced even closer to home. This is win-win.”
The Hopewell ethanol facility, which opened in April 2014, was the first ethanol operation on the East Coast, producing ethanol from corn, barley, and other small grains. The facility stopped production in August 2015.
Green Plains Inc., an Omaha, Nebraska-based ethanol company, bought the facility last fall. The total production capacity of Green Plains’ 14 ethanol plants is approximately 1.2 billion gallons of ethanol per year.
The return of ethanol production to the East is coming at a great time, points out Bowling. “Corn farmers across the country are expecting another bumper crop in 2016, at a time where prices have already fallen below production costs. The National Corn Growers Association is working together with industry and government to build demand for corn, and bring farmers back to profitability,” he said. “We need to keep investing in our ethanol infrastructure, especially here on the East Coast, to meet demand from consumers where they live and work.”