New Cargill subsidiary Emerald Renewable Energy LLC announced plans to develop four 100 million-gallon-per-year ethanol plants in the Midwestern United States. The newly formed company is considering several potential sites in the Cornbelt.

Emerald Renewable Energy is a privately held, limited liability company formed by Cargill to develop and invest in renewable energy projects in the United States. Cargill will provide the initial development capital for the projects. Emerald Renewable Energy will contract with Cargill for services to support the facilities, including corn supply, natural gas, price risk management and the marketing of ethanol and distillers grains.

"Emerald Renewable Energy will have access to Cargill's world-class expertise in trading, sourcing corn, plant construction and operations, risk management and bulk commodity transportation," noted Scott Portnoy, Cargill corporate vice president with responsibility for its Biofuels and Bioproducts businesses.

Emerald Renewable Energy has reached agreement with a globally recognized engineering permitting and construction (EPC) contractor to design and construct their facilities. This contractor has initiated engineering and permitting efforts and will participate with Cargill in the design and construction of all four plants. To finance the debt capital for the construction of the plants, Emerald has nominated BNP Paribas as lead arranger and Santander Investment and Standard Chartered as senior co-lead arrangers.

Each plant will use nearly 40 million bushels of corn annually and produce 100 million gallons of ethanol and over 300,000 tons of dry distillers grains for animal feed each year. The plant sites being considered include greenfield locations as well as co-locations with Cargill grain elevators and other utility infrastructure providers. The plants are expected to create about 40 jobs per location.