MORRIS, MN-A new consulting consortium, Greenway Consulting, LLC, has been formed to help developers finance, build and operate efficient ethanol production facilities across the US. The consortium includes US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a Minneapolis-based underwriter, Denco LLC, an operating ethanol plant in Morris, MN, and Agri-Source Consulting, an organization providing development and construction consulting services to the ethanol industry.

“Our mission is to save developers money and ensure smooth operations,” says Mark Fisler, a managing director at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.

Fuel ethanol production, first introduced around 1980, grew to 1.7 billion gallons in 2000 and is expected to grow to 3.481 billion gallons annually by 2004, according to industry reports. Public policies focused on improving air quality and reducing the nation’s dependence on imported oil encouraging ethanol development have driven this increasedproduction.

California’s recent decision to eliminate use of MTBE, an alternative fuel source, by 2003 has significantly increased the demand for ethanol. In addition, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved a bill in September 2001 to phase out MTBE nationally within four years. This could potentially triple the use of ethanol over the next decade, according to Greenway.

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