North Dakota ethanol plants use approximately 160-180 million bushels of corn annually with more than 80 percent of the corn purchased from North Dakota farmers. Forty to 60 percent of North Dakota’s total corn production annually is purchased by North Dakota ethanol plants.
Each bushel of corn processed by North Dakota ethanol plants produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol, 18 pounds of livestock feed (dried distillers grains), 18 pounds of carbon dioxide and up to 1 pound of corn oil. North Dakota ethanol plants produce more than 1.5 million tons of dry distillers grains annually.
North Dakota is a national leader in the establishment of biofuel infrastructure due to the ND Biofuel Blender Pump Program (2009-2013). The state was the ninth to offer E15. The number of flex fuel vehicles in the state has increased by 250 percent from 34,630 in 2011 to 121,500 in 2015.
Over the past five years total ethanol-blended fuel sales have increased by more than 16 percent. Approximately 10 percent of the ethanol produced annually in North Dakota is blended with gasoline and sold within the state, while the remaining 90 percent is shipped primarily to the east or west coast.
The North Dakota ethanol industry contributes $623 million annually to the state’s economy. In addition, state and local tax revenues contribute more than $11 million annually.
North Dakota ethanol plants employ more than 230 workers directly in positions such as chemists, engineers, accountants, managers and support staff. The industry supports more than 1,000 jobs across all sectors of the economy.
RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Each North Dakota ethanol plant is located in a community with a population of less than 2,500 and contributes an average of 46 jobs and an average annual payroll of $3.3 million to the community. In addition, the plants purchase the majority of their corn from North Dakota farmers and sell distillers grains to North Dakota livestock producers.
The five North Dakota ethanol plants have the capacity to produce 520 million gallons of ethanol per year, which is more than five times the production a decade ago.