NTR North American Bio-Ethanol Business, Green Plains Renewable Energy, Becomes the Fourth Largest Ethanol Producer in North America


May 21 2009

NTR’s bio-ethanol investment, Nasdaq listed Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE), today announces that it has signed definitive purchase agreements to acquire two ethanol plants in Nebraska. The addition of these plants will increase the Company’s ethanol production capacity by 45%, from 330 million gallons per year to 480 million gallons, making it the fourth largest ethanol producer in North America. Green Plains is acquiring all of the membership interests in two limited liability companies that own the ethanol plants located near Central City and Ord from a lender group lead by AgStar Financial Services (the “Lenders”) for $123.5 million. The Central City plant adds 100 million gallons and the Ord plant adds 50 million gallons of annual expected production capacity.

“The acquisition of the plants further lowers our cost of production and improves our ability to compete in the industry,” said Todd Becker, Green Plains’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “This purchase is consistent with our strategy to selectively acquire assets at attractive valuations that complement our vertically integrated business model from grain storage through ethanol production to blending and distribution. The Central City and Ord plants share the same process technology deployed at the majority of our plants, which should allow us to integrate them into our business with little disruption.”

Closing of the transactions is subject to standard conditions, including regulatory approvals and concurrent closing on the above described debt financing. The Company anticipates closing the purchases and financings in June 2009 and expects to have the plants fully operational within 30-60 days after closing.

Speaking about the acquisition, Jim Barry, Chief Executive, NTR plc said: “Through these acquisitions, Green Plains has hit a significant strategic milestone. Not only has it increased its overall ethanol production with the addition of these high quality assets, it has, in a relatively short period of time, become the fourth largest ethanol producer in North America.”

About NTR plc

NTR plc is a leading international developer and operator in renewable energy and sustainable waste management. Founded in 1978, NTR has evolved from being a developer and operator of infrastructure in Ireland to an international developer and operator of renewable energy (wind, solar and bio-ethanol), and sustainable waste management businesses in the USA, UK, and Ireland. The company employs over 4,100 people and has a market capitalization in excess of circa €400m ($540m).

About Green Plains Renewable Energy

Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc., based in Omaha, Nebraska, is a vertically- integrated, low-cost ethanol producer operating four ethanol plants in Iowa, Indiana and Tennessee with a combined expected operating capacity of 330 million gallons of ethanol per year. Green Plains also operates an independent third-party ethanol marketing service, with marketing capacity of 305 million gallons of ethanol per year. Green Plains owns 51% of Blendstar, LLC, a Houston-based biofuel terminal operator with 6 facilities in 5 states. Green Plains’ Agribusiness segment operates grain storage facilities and complementary agronomy, feed, and fuel businesses. Green Plains has grain storage capacity of approximately 22 million bushels.

Enquiries:

Issued on behalf of NTR plc by Heneghan PR:
Nigel Heneghan / Rachel Watchorn
Tel: +353 1 660 7395

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