The question was posed, how many people walked to this meeting room today? Only two of the 30 or so attendees to the Horizon Luncheon Series presented by the Georgia Agribusiness Council raised their hands. Murray Campbell, CEO of First United Ethanol llc. (FUEL), knew he had captivated his audience of Georgia agri-leaders.
FUEL is in the process of constructing a 100 MGY corn-based ethanol manufacturing facility in southwest Georgia’s corn-belt region. According to their website, www.firstunitedethanol.com, this will be a destination plant, which will strategically create value by being close to the customers and markets it serves. The facility will introduce a local source of distiller grains, which will redefine the region’s poultry, cattle, and dairy feed industries. In addition, the facility will provide a new source of carbon dioxide to the southeast region which provides further manufacturing opportunities. This project will continue to align with federal policy, which includes creating more energy security for the U.S., while sustaining or improving the environmental integrity of our air, soil and water.
During the luncheon, Murray mentioned several numbers that had all the agriculturalist in the room taking note. He said that seventy percent of our nationâ€™s energy needs are now imported, when at the end of WWII the U.S. was actually the worlds largest exporter. This difference cost American consumers $700 billion dollars a year. That equals to four times the amount of the Iraq War.
Murray agrees that there are some challenges to corn based ethanol and does not think it is the whole solution, but certainly part of it. He says that many of the charts that often give corn based ethanol low marks on efficiency do not take into effect what will be put back in the market. Murray ended the seminar by quoting Governor Sonny Perdue, â€œCorn based ethanol is not the silver bullet, but instead maybe a silver buckshot.â€