The Renewable Fuels Association congratulates producer member Adkins Energy LLC as it celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. The celebration includes an open house at the Lena, Ill. biorefinery on Saturday, June 3.
“We are thrilled to join Adkins Energy in celebrating this important milestone in the company’s history,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Adkins joined the RFA board in 2003, and the company has been a leader within our association and across the industry for the past two decades. Adkins is an important fixture in the northwest Illinois economy. Day in and day out, the company offers good-paying jobs for local workers, creates a value-added market for area farmers, supplies nutritious animal feed to livestock and poultry operations, and provides cleaner-burning, lower-cost fuels for consumers.”
Adkins was founded in August 2002 with an annual production capacity of 40 million gallons, which has now expanded to 60 million gallons. Among the biorefinery’s milestones:
- In 2012, Adkins was one of the first 20 plants nationwide to be certified by EPA to produce E15.
- In 2013, it broke ground on a co-located biodiesel facility and began production in 2014.
- In 2015, a 14,000-square-foot maintenance facility was added to the campus.
When the COVID pandemic hit in 2020, Adkins partnered with Lena Brewing Company to produce ethanol-based, FDA-approved hand sanitizer. Adkins also worked as part of a state-level initiative to help supply sanitizer to Chicago, and this work was featured in an RFA Member Spotlight. Along the way, Adkins Energy has awarded 20 scholarships to college students and donated $340,000 to local schools and organizations.
“It’s a really exciting time to be in the renewable fuels industry,” said Adkins Energy General Manager Bill Howell, an RFA board member. “The energy sector, particularly renewable fuels, is at the front of a new birth. We're talking about new aviation, zero-carbon-intensity type fuels, and my hope is that we're a player in those. Growth is always a challenge no matter what, and even though it's positive, it's always difficult—along with the changes that come with it. Overall, I am eager to see the opportunities and changes the next 20 years bring to our plant!”
For more information on Adkins Energy, click here.