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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rising gasoline consumption in May fuels ethanol production and demand, Renewable Fuels Association says

Ethanol continues to be a good news story for railroads’ traffic chronicles. In May, U.S. ethanol production and demand skyrocketed because of increased gasoline usage associated with the start of the summer driving season, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

Production jumped to a daily average of 406,000 barrels, up 38 percent, and demand spiked to a daily average of 427,000 barrels, up 22 percent compared with May 2006.

Currently, 124 ethanol biorefineries nationwide produce more than 6.4 billion gallons annually. Another 75 plants are under construction and seven facilities are expanding — projects that will nearly double the nation’s annual production capacity by early 2009, according to the RFA.

“While America’s oil industry has not built a new refinery in more than three decades or sufficiently expanded existing capacity to meet demand, the U.S. ethanol industry has built more than 120 ethanol biorefineries,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen in a prepared statement.

U.S. railroads move about 75 percent of all ethanol-related traffic, including inbound materials, and outbound ethanol, distillers grains and other byproducts.

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More News from 8/2/2007