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Severe weather impacts Argo ethanol terminal, ADM Iowa plant

Houston — The severe storm that tore through the US Midwest on Aug. 10 knocked out electricity to Kinder Morgan's Argo ethanol terminal in Illinois and shut down a large corn-processing complex in Iowa.

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The derecho, with winds gusting up to more than 100 mph, left nearly 7,000 customers in the Chicago area without power, including the Argo terminal.

Kinder Morgan spokeswoman Lexey Long said in an Aug. 11 email that the company's Argo terminal was operating on backup generator power. The company is working with customers to handle any impacts on service, and is working with Commonwealth Edison, the electricity provider for the Chicago area and much of Northern Illinois, to determine when power will be restored.

The Argo terminal is the dominant pricing hub for US ethanol. Sources were divided on whether the power outage was having an impact on ethanol values early Aug. 11.

One broker saw no immediate impact on the market, while another said flat prices for R11 rail cars were higher in morning activity, with a trade for this-week shipment reported at $1.27/gal, up 2 cents from values heard the previous day.

ADM's Cedar Rapids, Iowa, corn-processing facility also was offline on Aug. 11. ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson in a statement to Platts said the company was inspecting the plant for any storm-related damage.

"In the meantime, we are leveraging our vast transportation and processing network to ensure customers continue to receive deliveries in a timely manner," Anderson said.

The plant, which has a capacity to make 275 million gal/year of ethanol, was one of two that had been idled in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.