This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 02, 2005

Ethanol Production Reaches New Heights in 2004

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) announced on February 25th that the U.S. ethanol fuel industry set an annual production record of 3.4 billion gallons in 2004, an increase of 21 percent from the 2.81 billion gallons produced in 2003. In December, the industry produced 232,000 barrels per day of ethanol, tying the monthly record set in November, and beating ethanol production in December 2003 by 25,000 barrels per day. Including imports, U.S. petroleum companies used a record 3.53 billion gallons of ethanol in 2004.

Since late November, four new plants have started producing ethanol: one in Nebraska, one in Missouri, and two in Iowa. The latest one, near Emmetsburg, Iowa, started producing ethanol on February 25th. In addition, an ethanol plant near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, finished doubling its capacity in December. According to RFA, there are currently 83 ethanol fuel plants nationwide with the capacity to produce more than 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol each year. In addition, 15 ethanol fuel plants now under construction and two major expansions now underway will eventually add nearly 700 million gallons in new ethanol production capacity. See the RFA press releases.