American Ethanol Summer 2017 - Page 5

Not your typical corporate executive, Marquis often flies himself to work in his own helicopter. GLOBAL “I can remember exactly when I had my ‘aha’ moment with ethanol,” Marquis stated. “It was the day after Christmas in 2004. I had been thinking about the future of the business over the holidays. Corn prices at that time had remained flat, but the price of energy continued to climb. I said to my business partner, ‘Don’t you think we’re looking at a time in history when energy is going to take over as the driving force behind the price of corn?’” The answer was a resounding “yes,” and the Marquis family focused its energy on entering the growing industry. As they made plans to build their first In 2016, the U.S. ethanol export business surpassed 1 billion gallons . ethanol plant, their experience in the export arena led to a second “aha” moment. “We realized that our outbound logistics would be extremely important in selling our ethanol and distillers grain,” Marquis noted. “That’s why we decided to build an ethanol plant on the water that can participate in the export market.” The result was their Hennepin, Illinois, plant, which is situated on the Illinois River and served by barge, the Norfolk Southern Railway, and the Interstate system. The success of its first plant led Marquis Energy to ultimately build a second, identical plant on the same (continued next page) SUMMER 2017 5