Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Local Coverage of Pacific Ethanol Underwhelming.

It's in last Sunday's Oregonian.

Oregon's statewide newspaper does a simple article about biofuels in response to Oregon first ethanol plant launching. In my opinion they miss the significance of an industry leader like Pacific Ethanol placing a plant in Oregon as well as the strategic opportunity for our State in this emerging sector. They also miss the significance of Oregon's positioning for a biofuels industry.

My biggest gripe. The Oregonian fails to point out that the Columbia River is the largest corn exporting port in the world making Oregon a potential strong player for receiving feedstocks. Oregon also has a very large related market in proximity to this plant making it extremely energy efficient as the distillers grain offtake can be moved wet.

Compound this with the fact that Oregon is served with barges that back haul to California and Washington (large energy markets) empty on a daily basis and Oregon could develop a real significant ethanol industry. With or without subsidy.

Something tells me that if this plant was within a five minute commute of downtown Portland they would cover it better. I guess we will find out when Cascade Grain's launch their plant within commuting distance of Portland.

The Oregonian does provide something interesting though. They provide a map of all the proposed projects. It seems its not my imagination. These dot-com style startups moving to biofuels in the region

I was lucky enough to walk through the Pacific Ethanol plant at the Port of Morrow last friday. It was amazing to see it upfront and to know the potential breakthroughs awaiting that industry.

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