Confusion and construction delays have caused stress and uncertainty for producers, technology providers, plant builders, equipment suppliers, and ethanol marketers, according to Industrial Info Resources (, reporting from the 2006 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo in Milwaukee, Wisc. However, Mike Bryan, CEO of BBI International (, the organizer of the ethanol workshop, said there is nothing to worry about, comparing the ethanol industry to “a teenager experiencing growing pains and the oil industry the way it was 100 years ago.”

More than 234 plants are under development in North America, and ethanol use has increased by 20%, notes Industrial Info Resources. Likewise, “Contains Ethanol” stickers can be found on every gas pump across the nation and the number of E85 stations has more than doubled over the past year to some 200 locations.

Attendance at the workshop and tradeshow was up by 2,800 people compared to the 700 attendees for the 2005 show. Industrial Info Resources says that alone shows the tremendous interest in the burgeoning industry. By the end of 2006, the fuel ethanol industry is expected to grow to about 5.7 billion gallons, as 32 new plants go live and expansions are completed over the next six months. Over the next five years, construction costs to build additional capacity are expected to be in excess of $15 billion dollars.

Industrial Info Resources” “Ethanol Production Database” provides an outline of all current development activities in the emerging synthetic fuels market. This database covers 123 ethanol plants currently in operation and 234 plants under development. It also covers 15 operational biodiesel plants and 41 biodiesel plants under development.