In 2010, Abengoa Bionenergy placed a $250 million bet on the Mississippi River when it opened an ethanol and distiller grain production facility at America’s Central Port in Madison County. The biofuels company, which has corporate offices in Chesterfield, finished the project in advance of the port’s South Harbor project, a more than $40 million expansion currently underway.
Once the new harbor is completed, Christopher Standlee, executive vice president of global affairs for Abengoa Bioenergy, said the company expects to cut costs significantly and add volume to exports of grain and potentially ethanol by shipping down the river rather than relying on railcars to move products around the country and to international ports.
“We’ve been pushing to get this project completed since we completed construction of our facility,” Standlee said. “The river makes exports much simpler. It’s cheaper to get product out of the country by going down the river.”