The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today congratulated member company Western Plains Energy (WPE) on its 15th anniversary. WPE was formed in July 2001, broke ground on its Kansas ethanol plant in the spring of 2003 and began operations in January 2004. WPE operates a 50 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Oakley, Kan., which uses 17.5 million bushels of corn and grain sorghum per year. The biorefinery also produces more than 350,000 tons per year of wet distillers grains, has the ability to produce dry distillers grains, and provides its distillers grains throughout Northwest Kansas, providing a food source for thousands of cattle around the plant. The company, which has 45 employees, was also the first in the industry to trial ICM's cold-cook process, to try ICM's slurry grinding process and Syngenta's Enogen corn. "Western Plains Energy has played a crucial role in the west Kansas farm economy for 15 years, adding value to local crops and creating investment opportunities for area farmers," said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. "The company has also been a leader in adopting new and innovative technologies that have made the industry more efficient. WPE should be proud of its many accomplishments and we congratulate the company's investors, board, and staff on their success," he added.