Marathon to enter ethanol joint venture

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 11 -- Marathon Oil Corp. signed a letter of intent to form a 50:50 joint venture with The Andersons Inc., a Maumee, Ohio-based company with agriculture interests, to construct and operate an unspecified number of fuel ethanol plants.

Gary R. Heminger, Marathon executive vice-president and president of the company's refining, marketing, and transportation operations, described the joint venture as an important step in maintaining the reliability of future ethanol supplies. He said Marathon has been blending ethanol into gasoline for 15 years.

The Andersons has interests in the grain, ethanol, and plant nutrient businesses, along with railcar leasing and repair, turf products production, and general merchandise retailing. Formation of the joint venture is subject to approval by each company's board of directors and the execution of definitive agreements.

The Andersons will provide day-to-day management of the ethanol plants, as well as corn supplies, risk management, and dry distillers grain and ethanol marketing services. Site selection is expected to be finalized soon for the initial plant with a nameplate production capacity of 110 million gal/year of ethanol.

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