Located on the Union Pacific Railroad, the newly acquired Pratt facility is capable of loading 100-car shuttle trains of grain, dried distillers grains (DDG) and ethanol.
“Scoular is pleased to have taken yet another step to serve grain producers and end-users in this area as well as to further expand our presence in the renewable fuels market,” said Chuck Elsea, Scoular’s chief executive officer.
Elsea said Scoular anticipates that by April 1 the grain-handling portion of the facility will be ready to receive grain. Scoular is hopeful the ethanol plant will be operational late third or early fourth quarter of 2011, following extensive plant renovation, according to Elsea.
“It is economically feasible to run this plant, and that’s what we want to do,” said Elsea. He added that Scoular presently is in discussions with companies interested in operating the plant in partnership with Scoular.
In addition to owning the Pratt plant, Scoular is a minority investor in other ethanol plants as well as a service provider of risk management, grain origination, logistics and transportation, and distillers grains marketing. Within the next two weeks, Scoular will further expand its activity in the renewable fuels marketplace to include ethanol transloading with the opening of a new rail-to-truck ethanol transload facility in Ogden, Utah, U.S.
The Pratt facility will be incorporated into Scoular’s North American grain marketing network, a portion of which includes strategic investment in the state of Kansas. The Pratt acquisition brings the number of Scoular’s Kansas facilities to eight, including shuttle train loading facilities at Coolidge, Downs, Salina, and Wellington. Scoular presently employs more than 150 employees in Kansas, and that number could grow by as many as 40 once the ethanol plant is operating. Jeff Wilkinson will serve as Scoular’s interim manager of the Pratt location.