AURORA, Neb. — A partnership between two major Nebraska ag-related companies is now official.

KAAPA Ethanol and Aurora Cooperative have closed on a joint venture that forms KAAPA Partners Aurora. The new company now owns and operates the ethanol and grain facilities west of Aurora.

A news release says KAAPA is the majority owner and operator, with Aurora Cooperative retaining a minority interest. The new business plans to make significant investments in the facilities with the goal of increasing production and efficiencies.

“We are excited to enter this partnership with Aurora Cooperative and look forward to expanding our customer base to the Aurora region,” KAAPA CEO Chuck Woodside said in a news release. “The collaboration with our existing plants, along with significant improvements to the facility will make this plant a great addition to KAAPA.”

KAAPA formed as an ethanol company owned by a group of Nebraska farmers in 2001. Aurora Cooperative has existed for 115 years and has over 650 employees across 70 locations.

“I am excited that we have closed the transaction so that we can move forward with making needed investments in the facilities to increase efficiency and capacity,” Aurora Cooperative CEO Chris Decker said. “We are looking forward to working with KAAPA to improve and expand these facilities for our area farmers.”

Decker told NCN at the company’s annual meeting that he hopes the added investment will make the plant one of the top five ethanol plants in the country.