MUSCATINE, IOWA, US — Grain Processing Corp. (GPC), a member of the Kent Corp. family of companies, announced on Feb. 22 that it has completed the expansion of its distillery in Muscatine, Iowa, US, giving the company the ability to produce significantly more high-quality alcohol.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, GPC has supported the manufacture of millions of gallons of ethyl alcohol to support the production of essential products in the fight against COVID-19, including hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and cleaners and surfactants, and in the manufacture of active pharma ingredients, vaccine components and COVID-19 testing reagents.

Originally announced in May 2015, the multi-year, multi-million-dollar capital investment and expansion took thousands of engineering hours and leveraged the expertise of GPC’s workforce to increase the amount of value-added ingredients made from the kernel of corn, the company said.

“To produce alcohol to 1 ppm or less total impurities, there are no short cuts,” said Pat Homoelle, president of GPC. “Our world-class quality sets us apart and is recognized by our trusted partners who depend upon us to consistently craft gallon after gallon for a range of products from beverage alcohol to pharmaceutical-grade applications.”

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to meet increased demand for high-purity alcohol, GPC said the expansion project timeline was successfully compressed by nearly eight months and completed. The original startup date was July 2021.

“The accelerated completion of the distillery during the pandemic will go down as one of Kent Corp.’s greatest success stories during very challenging circumstances,” Homoelle said.

To accelerate construction, the company said significant additional contractor labor and overtime hours were used and deliveries on equipment and piping-related materials were fast-tracked. To support timely construction and procurement, considerable project management and contractor oversite took place by multiple engineers.

GPC is a manufacturer of pure alcohol, maltodextrins, starches as well as co-products for the animal nutrition industry.