Company Unveils New Boardman Ethanol Plant - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Company Unveils New Boardman Ethanol Plant

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BOARDMAN, Oreg.- Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski welcomed the state's first ethanol plant Friday.

Pacific Ethanol opened the $100 million plant in Boardman.

This is a key part of the Governor's program that'll require all gas sold in the state of Oregon to be at least a 10% ethanol blend.

He called it a defining moment in the state's economy that'll make Oregon the capital for energy independence.

"For the first time, Oregon is taking destiny into it's own hands and producing it's own transportation fuels here in our state," the Governor said. 

He welcomed Pacific Ethanol's new Boardman plant with open arms, saying Oregon is taking the lead in renewable energy.

"I'm just absolutely amazed at how large this is and the technology that goes into it," he said. 

The plant with a capability to produce 40 million gallons of ethanol a year, or about 2.5% of all the fuel used in Oregon.

"Nice to see a project come to fruition," one local resident said.

Ethanol isn't the only product.

Waste stock from the plant will be returned to northwest farms as feed, and the community gets 40 new jobs.

Ethanol though is the main product, aimed at meeting the state's new requirement that all gas sold be a part ethanol mix after the first of the year.

"The renewable fuels requirement in Oregon, to have 10% ethanol, in all of the fuel, and that's a great start, we are also working with retailers to be E-85, so there are be increasingly cars being built by the automakers that can run on up to 85% ethanol," said company CEO Neil Koehler.  

From there the fuel is pumped right onto barges, and shipped to Portland where one day in the near future, drivers will pump the first gallon of gas made right there in their home state.

Corn is one of the main ingredients in the ethanol mix.  The company says it'll be coming from farms right here in the northwest.