AGP gets state grant for biogas project

By Holly Jessen
Posted June 9, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. CST

A 52 MMgy ethanol plant in Hastings, Neb., recently received a $275,000 grant from the Nebraska Energy Office. AGP Corn Processing will use the money, plus $50,000 of its own matching funds for a project that will offset a portion of the plant's natural gas usage.

The company recently completed a renovation of its anaerobic wastewater digester, said John Campbell, senior vice president of Ag Processing Inc. (AGP), which operates the ethanol plant. The grant money will be used to capture methane gas and pipe it over to a regenerative thermal oxidizer. That means reduced pollution as well as using less natural gas, which is what is currently powering the RTO. "We'll start it in the very near future and hopefully have it done in the next six months, Campbell said.

AGP is a farmer-owned cooperative that works in the areas of procurement, processing, marketing, and transportation of grains and grain products, such as corn and soybeans. The bulk of the company's work is with soybeans, which includes two biodiesel facilities. In addition, AGP operates nine soybean processing plants, six of which are located in Iowa. The remaining three are in Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska.

In April the company announced it was undertaking a multimillion-dollar expansion project at its Port of Grays Harbor facility in Aberdeen, Wash. The company plans to build a new handling and storage facility located next to its existing trans-load facility, with construction expected to begin this fall and the project scheduled for completion in early 2012. The expanded facility will provide a gateway destination for soybean meal, grains, distillers grains, gluten meal, and beet pulp pellets. "In addition to strengthening AGP's cooperative processing platform, the expanded facility will provide additional market destinations for our members's corn and soybeans, said Brad Davis, AGP's president and chairman of the board.