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Data Shows U.S. Ethanol Production Substantially Outpacing First Quarter 2007 Levels

BENTEK Energy, LLC, estimates that the United States' ethanol plant fleet has produced 1.9 billion gallons of ethanol through the first quarter of 2008. This outpaces last year's production in the first quarter by 517 million gallons, or nearly 37%. Average daily production through the first quarter of 2008 was approximately 21.4 million gallons per day, which compares to an average of 15.6 million gallons per day in the first quarter 2007 and an average of 17.8 million gallons per day for all of 2007.

“Not only is the quarterly growth impressive, but it also reaffirms growth patterns in the industry that we saw going back to 2006,” says Jack Weixel, BENTEK senior analyst. “If this trend continues, 2008 will be another record-setting year for U.S. ethanol production.”

BENTEK monitors the deliveries of natural gas from interstate pipelines to approximately 30% of all U.S. ethanol facilities. This number is then modeled to monthly fuel ethanol output data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to estimate a real-time daily U.S. estimate of ethanol production based on gas inputs. The U.S. has approximately 134 ethanol plants in service in 2008 compared to 68 plants five years ago in 2003. This year, expansions and new plants scheduled to go online could push total ethanol production to over 7.7 billion gallons if performance trends in the first quarter continue through the rest of the year. Total production of ethanol was approximately 6.5 billion gallons in 2007 according to estimates provided by BENTEK.

A daily report from BENTEK Energy, the Industrial End Users Report™, provides a continuing assessment of natural gas use at over 750 U.S. industrial facilities, including ethanol plants, refineries, fertilizer manufacturers and other industrial facilities.

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