North Dakota Ethanol Industry


The North Dakota ethanol industry contributes more than $640 million annually to the state’s economy.



North Dakota ethanol plants employ more than 200 workers directly in positions such as chemists, engineers, accountants, managers and support staff. The average annual wage for an ethanol plant employee in North Dakota is approximately $64,000. The industry supports more than 10,000 jobs across all sectors of the economy.



Each North Dakota ethanol plant is located in a community with a population of less than 2,500 and contributes an average of 49 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 produce nearly 400 million gallons of ethanol per year, which is more than a ten-fold increase since 2005.



North Dakota ethanol plants use approximately 140 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) and 18 pounds of carbon dioxide. North Dakota ethanol plants produce more than 1.1 million tons of dry distillers grains annually.



North Dakota is a national leader in the establishment of flex fuel pumps. As of January 2013, the state has nearly 200 flex fuel pumps in 40 communities. The state also has 98,100 flex fuel vehicles (FFV), a 50 percent increase since 2011.



E-85 sales have more than tripled and total ethanol-blended fuel sales have increased by more than 20 percent since 2009. Approximately 7.5 percent (27.5 million gallons) of the 360 million gallons of ethanol produced annually in North Dakota is blended with gasoline and sold within the state, while the remaining 92.5 percent is shipped primarily to the east or west coast.