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Ethanol Plant Investment using Net Present Value and Real Options Analyses

Author

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  • Schmit, Todd M.
  • Luo, Jianchuan
  • Tauer, Loren W.

Abstract

A real option analysis of dry-grind corn ethanol plants compared to a standard net present value analysis (NPV) shows that the option values increase entry prices and lower exit prices of investment and disinvestment considerably. For a large plant, the gross margin of ethanol price over the corn price for a gallon of ethanol using NPV shows that entry will occur with a $0.45 margin and shutdown will occur at a $0.38. Under a real options framework, the margins for entry and exit become $1.33 and $0.13, respectively. Under baseline conditions, a large operating plant would become mothballed at $0.18 and reactivate if margins rebounded to $0.66. Growth in the variability of ethanol margins will delay new plant investments, as well as exits of currently operating facilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmit, Todd M. & Luo, Jianchuan & Tauer, Loren W., 2008. "Ethanol Plant Investment using Net Present Value and Real Options Analyses," Working Papers 51145, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:51145
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.51145
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/51145/files/WP%20Schmit%202008-14.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Seyoum, Emayenesh & Chan, Chris, 2012. "A real-options analysis of wine grape farming in north west Victoria," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Fremantle, Australia 124446, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    2. Jouvet, Pierre-André & Le Cadre, Elodie & Orset, Caroline, 2012. "Irreversible investment, uncertainty, and ambiguity: The case of bioenergy sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 45-53.
    3. Sameh Hachicha & Leila Kaaniche & Fathi Abid, 2011. "Sequential investment and delay: an agribusiness firm case study," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 71(2), pages 240-258, August.
    4. Maxwell, Christian & Davison, Matt, 2014. "Using real option analysis to quantify ethanol policy impact on the firm's entry into and optimal operation of corn ethanol facilities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 140-151.
    5. Yi, Fujin & Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Thome, Karen, 2013. "An Analysis of the Effects of Government Subsidies and the Renewable Fuels Standard on the Fuel Ethanol Industry: A Structural Econometric Model," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150224, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Cai, Xiaowei & Stiegert, Kyle W., 2014. "Market Analysis of Ethanol Capacity," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-12, February.
    7. Monge, Juan J. & Ribera, Luis A. & Jifon, John L. & Silva, Jorge A. da & Richardson, James W., 2014. "Economics and Uncertainty of Lignocellulosic Biofuel Production from Energy Cane and Sweet Sorghum in South Texas," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1-28, November.
    8. Calum G. Turvey, 2010. "Biography: Kiyosi Itô and his influence on the study of agricultural finance and economics," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 70(1), pages 5-20, May.
    9. Schmit, T.M. & J., Luo & Conrad, J.M., 2011. "Estimating the influence of U.S. ethanol policy on plant investment decisions: A real options analysis with two stochastic variables," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1194-1205.
    10. Andrian, Leandro Gaston, 2010. "Essays on energy economics: Microeconomic and macroeconomic dimensions," ISU General Staff Papers 201001010800002725, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

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