LIMA — The Husky Lima Refinery had another strong year of production, and now it has plans in place to handle different types of raw materials.
Last year at the Husky Lima Refinery, workers produced about 2 billion gallons of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, residual fuels and petrochemical feedstocks. About 25 percent of the gasoline consumed in Ohio was produced at the Lima refinery, said Kim Guttormson, a spokeswoman for Husky Energy.
In April, Husky started up its kerosene hydrotreater, which company officials expect to increase its distillate capacity and provide more chances to jump between jet and on-road diesel production, she said.
Husky also moved forward with preliminary engineering design on a proposed project that would allow the refinery to process up to 40,000 barrels a day of western Canadian heavy oil. By allowing the option of running a heavier crude oil, Husky increases its ability to respond faster and in a more efficient manner to market, Guttormson said.
Earlier this month, the company unveiled a $300 million project, which will accept heavy crude from Western Canada in 2017.
Husky has an overall strategy to keep looking at ways to increase the flexibility of the crudes the refinery produces, the products it makes and the markets it serves, she said.
LEIPSIC — The start of 2013 was challenging for the ethanol industry, thanks to one of the hottest and driest summers on record in 2012.
There was less corn brought to market due to the poor crop, and ethanol plants had to face the challenge. At Poet Biorefining in Leipsic, that meant managing production by keeping it as strong and steady as possible.
This past fall’s crop was strong, which is exactly what the ethanol industry needed. The industry produces fuel that makes up 10 percent of gasoline.
“We had a strong year,” said Mark Borer, the general manager of Poet in Leipsic.
Poet’s plants across the country uses about 40 percent of the nation’s corn crop to make fuel, but it also turns over the unused part to farmers to feed animals. Last year, Poet in Leipsic turned over 190,000 tons of corn to farmers.
“All we do is remove the starch from corn,” Borer said. “We’re taking the starch, and we’re maintaining the protein and fat.”
The local plant will continue production with its 42 employees. On a national scale, Poet is starting a new plant in Iowa equipped with the latest technology.
Ethanol production has a bright future as the number of plants continue to grow. Poet opened the first plant in the state in Leipsic. Today, there are seven ethanol plants throughout the state, including Poet-owned facilities in Fostoria, Leipsic and Marion.
“That’s the whole thing, as we continue to grow the use of biofuels, including ethanol, you will see major expansions,” Borer said.
Poet gets its corn from local farmers within a 50-mile radius, Borer said.
Ethanol is 70 cents less per gallon than gasoline. The 10 percent mixture in gasoline of ethanol helps it burn cleaner and reduces the dependency on foreign oil, he said.
LIMA — Guardian in Lima is the second owner of the ethanol plant, which had its share of hiccups when it opened and then bankrupted under previous management before Guardian took over.
But Guardian knows ethanol, and Guardian knows what it takes to run a successful operation. The plant now produces 54 million gallons of ethanol per year from 19 million bushels of corn per year.
Guardian is owned by Paladin Ethanol Acquisition, an entity backed by Paladin Capital Group.
PEA acquired the plant in 2009. Upgrades were made to make production efficient. Guardian now has more than 30 local employees.