News Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement today of their partnership with Western Plains Energy, LLC to support the construction of a biogas anaerobic digester in Oakley, KS. The completed project will replace natural gas with agricultural waste from a nearby cattle feedlot in the production of liquid transportation fuel.

“Today’s announcement is great news for the economic development of Western Kansas,” Sen. Moran said. “By investing in new technologies, Western Plains Energy is charting a path for future growth, creating jobs and opening the door for the use of feedlot waste in future energy projects.”

Western Plains Energy expects to complete construction of the biogas digester in August, which is scheduled to become fully operational in 2013. The digester is expected to produce enough biogas to replace 89 percent of the fossil fuels that Western Plains currently uses to provide process heat at its Oakley, KS, ethanol plant, which produces 50 million gallons of ethanol annually.

Today’s announcement was made under USDA Rural Development’s Repowering Assistance Program. This program was authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill. It allows USDA to make payments to eligible biorefineries to encourage the use of renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels used to provide process heat or power in the operation of these eligible biorefineries. Biorefineries that were in existence when the bill was enacted, June 18, 2008, are eligible to apply.