Transportation troubles continue to plague local ethanol plants - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Transportation troubles continue to plague local ethanol plants


LYLE, Minn. (KTTC) -- Anendless alley way of rail cars for as far as the eye can see, and each onefilled with ethanol that is ready to go.

"We shipprimarily our ethanol by unit train to the east coast and Chicago, Albany, NewYork, New Jersey, but we also send product down into Atlanta to serve thesoutheast region," says Absolute Energy President, Rick Schwarck.

The wheels ofthe rail cars stay locked as harsh winters and a backlog of trafficthrough Chicagocreates a day-to-day problem for Canadian Pacific Railroad and their customers.

"We had astretch there where we were actually had to bring the entire plant down for 3and a half days because we had no rail service and we were full," saysSchwarck.

As productionslows, grain storage bins begin to fill which creates a trickle down effectthat had farmers nervous weeks ago.

"If theycan't get that Ethanol delivered or whatever there going to require less corn,they don't need as much corn the prices will go down and the basis will widen andthey will give us a lower price for our corn," said farmer Andy Bachman.

It's likeclimbing a ladder; the farmers give to the ethanol plants, who give to the gascompanies.  They use it to lower the price of gas for commuters, but witha missing rung no one gets to the top.

"It raisesthe price of the fuel. If the components cost more the ending product will costmore, but it is still cheaper than if there was nothing in it at all,"says Schwarck.

As the weatherbegins to warm up the cars may begin to move, but until then the east coast canexpect to pay the price.

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