The Ethanol Industry’s Economic Footprint in Minnesota’s First Congressional District

  • Tuesday, 23 January 2018 14:14

The ethanol industry’s economic impact in Minnesota is well established - $1.98 billion annually to state GDP. But to get a better idea of the ethanol industry’s economic footprint in Minnesota, we decided to look at how it impacts each congressional district – from ethanol plants to vendor companies.

Kicking off the series is Minnesota’s First Congressional District, which covers most of southern Minnesota and includes mid-sized cities such as Mankato and Rochester. This district has 11 ethanol plants that collectively produce 730.25 million gallons a year.

Several of Minnesota’s largest ethanol plants such as Green Plains Renewable Energy in Fairmont (119 million gallons a year) and Guardian Energy in Janesville (136 million gallons a year) are located in this district.

Another plant in the district, Al-Corn Clean Fuel in Claremont, is currently expanding its capacity to 120 million gallons a year from 50 million gallons a year.

In all, in the First Congressional District, there are ethanol plants in Albert Lea, Bingham Lake, Claremont, Heron Lake, Fairmont, Janesville, Luverne, Lake Crystal, Preston, Welcome and Winnebago.

In terms of vendor companies that support the industry, however, we found that the ethanol industry’s economic impact reaches far beyond the towns that are home to ethanol plants.

Within this district, there are vendor companies located in Blue Earth, Byron, Caledonia, Hayward, Harmony, Faribault, Jackson, Le Sueur, Mankato, New Ulm, Owatonna, Rochester, Sleepy Eye, Winona and Worthinton.

In total, there are 28 vendor companies from the aforementioned cities and towns that provide a range of services such as financial solutions, transportation, supply chain management, fuel marketing, environmental and industrial engineering, commercial storage systems, grain dryer and grain handling equipment and plant maintenance.  

These companies include Compeer Financial, GSI Group, Caledonia Haulers, Gavilon LLC, EcoEnergy, Industrial Sales Solutions, Bolton & Menk, DuPont Pioneer, Distel Grain System, Hubbard Feed, Hydro Klean, McGough and Pinnacle Engineering.

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Pic Caption : Guardian Energy in Janesville is one of the 11 ethanol plants in Minnesota's First Congressional District