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Pacific Ethanol & TPW start unit train service

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (Pacific Ethanol) and Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway (TPW), a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), have announced they have commenced unit train service from Pacific Ethanol’s plant in Pekin, Illinois.

“This unit-train solution enables us to increase our overall sales volumes by expanding our ethanol distribution to new markets on the East Coast,” stated Neil Koehler, CEO of Pacific Ethanol. “This agreement with TPW builds on our producer marketer business plan for the Pekin plant, increasing revenue and providing reliable and efficient service to customers in new markets.”

Under the new service, the Tazewell & Peoria Railroad, a G&W-owned switching and terminal railroad that serves the Pekin plant, hauls the plant’s daily output to Creve Coeur, Illinois, where the connecting TPW has the track capacity to aggregate the railcars and assemble unit trains of as many as 96 cars. The TPW, a 200 mile short line railroad, then interchanges the unit trains with connecting Class I railroads for delivery to final destinations east of the Mississippi.

“Enabling Pacific Ethanol to originate unit trains on the TPW is the third recent example of G&W railroad’s commitment to the biofuels industry,” said Mike Webb, Senior Vice President for distribution services for Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc. “This past July, we announced a project that allows an ethanol customer to receive unit trains via G&W’s Arkansas Midland Railroad, and last year at this time, our San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad opened a Choice Terminal bulk transload facility with a biofuels company as its anchor customer.”

The ethanol market is expected to remain strong overall, with increased demand from international markets and from certain US markets raising their 10% blend minimums.

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