Grain goes west, ethanol goes east from Elite Octane

Elite Octane Plant Manager Mike Messing spoke last month about the ethanol plant during the CADCO Meeting.

ATLANTIC – A majority of the grain from Elite Octane in Atlantic goes west, while a majority of the ethanol goes east.

Last month, Elite Octane Plant Manager Mike Messing gave an update to members of Cass/Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) during their annual meeting, and Messing gave an update on the plant which is said to have 51 employees, and has produced 143 million gallons of ethanol since production started.

He explained a lot of the grain is going west to California, and a lot of the ethanol is going east.

"You go west, you have a lot of other ethanol plants that are around there," Messing said during the meeting in July. "A lot of your feedlots are going to take the wet (grain) that's closer to the plants near them. So we're hitting a lot of the dairies and a lot of the stuff out there that they don't have ethanol plants right in their back yard or within 50 miles."

Messing said they average about 210 per day, and there are contractors and vendors who visit the plant. He hopes all this traffic does lend itself to stops in Atlantic, whether it is to eat or to gas up vehicles. He also said the employees come from Atlantic, as well as surrounding towns, like Walnut and Marne, and one of the furthest employees comes from Shenandoah.

He said the ethanol industry is relatively young, and there are always people trying to create new technologies that can be used in it - "There's always somebody with a new mouse trap," he says - but either way Elite Octane continues to do well as part of the industry.

"We are leader in the industry," he said.