Archive for Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ethanol plant approved for western Kansas

November 15, 2007


— The state's top environmental official Wednesday approved construction of an ethanol plant in Dodge City, and used the action to try to dampen criticism over his rejection of two coal-fired power plants sought by Sunflower Electric Power Corp.

"There has been speculation that last month's Sunflower decision would in some way threaten the ethanol and biodiesel industry in Kansas," said KDHE Secretary Roderick Bremby. "That is simply not the case. Kansas is still open for business."

Supporters of the Sunflower proposal in western Kansas have blasted Bremby, who last month rejected the two 700-megawatt plants because of concerns about carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. They said Bremby's decision threatened nearly every industry in Kansas that emitted CO2.

At the time, House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, said, "This action ... sends a clear message that economic development is not welcomed in rural Kansas."

But Bremby used the approval of the ethanol plant on Wednesday to tout the need for more renewable energy sources, and point out that much of the state's ethanol production is occurring in western Kansas.

Bremby noted that the Dial Energy ethanol plant in Dodge City has the potential to emit 600,000 tons of CO2 per year, compared with an estimated 11 million tons per year by the proposed Sunflower plants.

The $150 million ethanol plant is expected to produce 124 million gallons of ethanol annually.

KDHE is reviewing permits for four more ethanol plants and one biodiesel plant.

Even though Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' administration has been supportive of ethanol production, some environmentalists have said ethanol requires too much water and causes too much pollution.


hornhunter 10 years, 5 months ago

Ethanol plants should be given the same set of play rules if the KDHE (Bremby) is so much against CO2. So this plant will release 600,000 tons how much additional CO2 will be produce to transport the mash, the product and the supply grain? If its good for the goose it should be good for the gander.

Incredulous 10 years, 5 months ago

The inconvenient truth is the net increase in CO2 from the proposed Sunflower plants would be about 4.9 Million tons a year as it will generally displace more expensive power from older existing units. Those older units won't go away. They will undoubtedly be used to cover peak loads when necessary but they will be used much less. The reality is that power companies always buy the cheapest energy they can get their hands on. However, the 600 Tons per year from the newly approved ethanol plant (powered by electricity of course) will not displace anything. It will be additional. The article says 4 more ethanol plants are in the works and will be approved. Do the math. If they are of comparable size, the total new CO2 emmissions will be 2.4 Million tons per year and that's just the ones on the table today. 2.4 vs 4.9. Am I missing something or does KDHE want it both ways?

dirkleisure 10 years, 5 months ago

Is this older units argument meant to be a joke? Name the older units, I assume you are referencing plants in CO, which will emit less CO2 as a result of the Sunflower expansion.

Very simple - name the plants, name the amount of CO2 currently produced, and name the post-Sunflower CO2 estimates.

gr 10 years, 5 months ago

"4.9 Million tons a year"

Is that a lot? Compared to what? The atmosphere?

I don't expect anything just like no plants and amounts named either.

gr 10 years, 5 months ago

Nope - nothing named, nothing compared.

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