Cautiously skeptical of ethanol in the past, Cargill is positioning itself as an aggressive player in the biofuels arena. It's formed a subsidiary called Emerald Renewable Energy to develop and invest in renewable energy projects.
From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
"We still think there are questions that need to be answered," Cargill spokesman Bill Brady said Monday. But the company also sees opportunity, and "we think biofuels have a role to play … and Cargill has a lot of core expertise in a lot of aspects of the ethanol industry."
Cargill already has two corn-milling plants that make ethanol and other corn products. The four new ethanol-only plants are signaling a modest shift for the company, although Brady points out that Cargill will continue to focus its expertise on food and agriculture, with energy as a component of that.
The company expects the ethanol plants to create about 40 jobs per location.
Photo credit: NREL