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Our disciplined risk management strategy is designed to lock in operating margins by forward contracting the primary
commodities involved in or derived from ethanol production: corn, natural gas, ethanol and distillers grains, along with the
corn oil extracted prior to the production of distillers grains. We also seek to maintain an environment of continuous
operational improvement to increase our efficiency and effectiveness as a low-cost producer of ethanol.
We review our operations within the following four separate operating segments:
Ethanol Production.
We operate a total of nine ethanol plants in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and
Tennessee, with approximately 740 mmgy of total ethanol production capacity. At capacity, these plants collectively
will consume approximately 265 million bushels of corn and produce approximately 2.1 million tons of distillers
grains annually.
Corn Oil Production
. We operate corn oil extraction systems at all nine of our ethanol plants, with the capacity to
produce approximately 130 million pounds annually. The corn oil systems are designed to extract non-edible corn
oil from the whole stillage process immediately prior to production of distillers grains. Industrial uses for corn oil
include feedstock for biodiesel, livestock feed additives, rubber substitutes, rust preventatives, inks, textiles, soaps
and insecticides.
Agribusiness.
We operate three lines of business within our agribusiness segment: bulk grain, agronomy and
petroleum. We believe our bulk grain business provides synergies with our ethanol production segment as it supplies
a portion of the feedstock for our ethanol plants. In our bulk grain business, we have 15 grain elevators with
approximately 39.1 million bushels of total storage capacity. We sell fertilizer and other agricultural inputs and
provide application services to area producers through our agronomy business. Additionally, we sell petroleum
products including diesel, soydiesel, blended gasoline and propane, primarily to agricultural producers and
consumers.
Marketing and Distribution.
Our in-house marketing business is responsible for the sales, marketing and
distribution of all ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil produced at our nine ethanol plants. We also market and
distribute ethanol for third-party ethanol producers. Production capacity of these third-party producers is
approximately 260 mmgy. Additionally, we own and operate nine blending or terminaling facilities with
approximately 625 mmgy of total throughput capacity in seven south central U.S. states.
We intend to continue to take a disciplined approach in evaluating new opportunities related to potential acquisition of
additional ethanol plants by considering whether the plants fit within the design, engineering and geographic criteria we have
developed. In our marketing and distribution segment, our strategy is to renew existing marketing contracts, as well as enter
new contracts with other ethanol producers. We also intend to pursue opportunities to develop or acquire additional grain
elevators and agronomy businesses, specifically those located near our ethanol plants. We believe that owning additional
agribusiness operations in close proximity to our ethanol plants enables us to strengthen relationships with local corn
producers, allowing us to source corn more effectively and at a lower average cost. We also plan to continue to grow our
downstream access to customers and are actively seeking new marketing opportunities with other ethanol producers.
Additionally, we are a partner in a joint venture, BioProcess Algae LLC, formed to commercialize advanced photo-bioreactor
technologies for the growing and harvesting of algal biomass.
Our Competitive Strengths
We believe we have created an efficient platform with diversified revenues and income streams. Fundamentally, we
focus on managing commodity price risks, improving operating efficiencies and optimizing market opportunities. We believe
our competitive strengths include:
Seed, Fertilizer and
Chemical Sales
Grain Handling and
Storage
Marketing,
Transportation and
Logistics
Blending and
Distribution
Downstream
Upstream
Ethanol Production
and Corn Oil
Production