ANNAWAN — Since 2008, Patriot Renewable Fuels LLC in Annawan has purchased more than 200 million bushels of corn from area farmers.
Further processing of that corn at Annawan created 550 million gallons of ethanol that reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil and 1.5 million tons of dried distillers grain with solubles (DDGS) used globally in animal feed. Patriot Renewable Fuels will celebrate five years of business growth on Aug. 31, and has invited legislators and policy-makers to the facility to learn about the importance of corn processing to the region.
“As we celebrate this milestone, we must thank area growers and grain elevators for their ongoing and continued support,” said Gene Griffith, president of Patriot Renewable Fuels. “In just five years, we’ve contributed significantly to the area economy through more than $18 million in direct and related industry jobs, and by giving farmers new, and important global market access through innovative partnerships.”
Specifically, Griffith says, CHS, a farmer-owned cooperative and a leading energy, grains and foods company, has helped Patriot Renewable Fuels connect to global DDGS markets.
Patriot produces 320,000 tons of high-quality animal feed annually that are loaded into containers on site and exported by CHS to Asian countries including China, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and Japan.
“Our DDGS exports have contributed an additional $300 million reduction on our nation’s U.S. trade deficit,” he said. “Over five years, corn purchased from area growers and processed into DDGS, a value-added protein ingredient, has fed approximately five million hogs.”
Patriot recently expanded its relationship with CHS by naming the farmer-owned cooperative as its ethanol marketing partner.
“Over the last five years, Patriot Renewable Fuels has shipped approximately 18,000 rail cars of ethanol. Together, Patriot Renewable Fuels and CHS are contributing significantly to rural economic development and providing consumers with a dependable, high quality ethanol fuel supply.”
CHS is rapidly expanding its ethanol platform and Griffith anticipates the partnership could mean additional global market access; good news for Patriot and area growers.
“Five years ago, I knew starting this business would be a big project because as a start-up, you don’t have a legal, IT or marketing team like the big corporations. But by strategically working with CHS, we’ve gained valuable marketing, risk management and logistics expertise, which has contributed to our success,” said Griffith.
Patriot Renewable Fuels also produces 320,000 tons annually of dried distillers grains, a by-product used as a high-quality protein ingredient in livestock feed.