DOE Awards Up to $385 Million to Six Cellulosic Ethanol Plants; Total Investment to Exceed $1.2 Billion
The US Department of Energy will invest up to $385 million for six biorefinery projects over the next four years. When fully operational, the biorefineries are expected to produce more than 130 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.
The solicitation, announced a year ago, was initially for three biorefineries and $160 million. However, in an effort to expedite the goals of the Advanced Energy Initiative and help achieve the goals of President Bush’s Twenty in Ten Initiative, within authority of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), Section 932, Secretary Bodman raised the funding ceiling.
Combined with the industry cost share, more than $1.2 billion will be invested in these six biorefineries. Negotiations between the selected companies and DOE will begin immediately to determine final project plans and funding levels. Funding will begin this fiscal year and run through FY 2010.
EPAct authorized DOE to solicit and fund proposals for the commercial demonstration of advanced biorefineries that use cellulosic feedstocks to produce ethanol and co-produce bioproducts and electricity.
The following six projects were selected:
Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas, LLC, up to $76 million. The proposed plant will be located in the state of Kansas and will produce 11.4 million gallons of ethanol annually and enough energy to power the facility, with any excess energy being used to power the adjacent corn dry grind mill. The plant will use 700 tons per day of corn stover, wheat straw, milo stubble, switchgrass, and other feedstocks.
Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass investors/participants include: Abengoa Bioenergy R&D, Inc.; Abengoa Engineering and Construction, LLC; Antares Corp.; and Taylor Engineering.
ALICO, Inc. of LaBelle, Florida, up to $33 million. The proposed plant will be in LaBelle (Hendry County), Florida. The plant will produce 13.9 million gallons of ethanol a year and 6,255 kW of electric power, as well as 8.8 tons of hydrogen and 50 tons of ammonia per day. For feedstock, the plant will use 770 tons per day of yard, wood, and vegetative wastes and eventually energycane.
ALICO, Inc. investors/participants include: Bioengineering Resources, Inc. of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Washington Group International of Boise, Idaho; GeoSyntec Consultants of Boca Raton, Florida; BG Katz Companies/JAKS, LLC of Parkland, Florida; and Emmaus Foundation, Inc.
BlueFire Ethanol, Inc. of Irvine, California, up to $40 million. The proposed plant will be in Southern California, will be sited on an existing landfill and produce about 19 million gallons of ethanol a year. As feedstock, the plant would use 700 tons per day of sorted green waste and wood waste from landfills.
BlueFire Ethanol, Inc. investors/participants include: Waste Management, Inc.; JGC Corporation; MECS Inc.; NAES; and PetroDiamond.
Broin Companies of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, up to $80 million. The plant is in Emmetsburg (Palo Alto County), Iowa, and after expansion, it will produce 125 million gallons of ethanol per year, of which roughly 25% will be cellulosic ethanol. For feedstock in the production of cellulosic ethanol, the plant expects to use 842 tons per day of corn fiber, cobs, and stalks.
Broin Companies participants include: E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; Novozymes North America, Inc.; and DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Iogen Biorefinery Partners, LLC, of Arlington, Virginia, up to $80 million. The proposed plant will be built in Shelley, Idaho, near Idaho Falls, and will produce 18 million gallons of ethanol annually. The plant will use 700 tons per day of agricultural residues including wheat straw, barley straw, corn stover, switchgrass, and rice straw as feedstocks.
Iogen Biorefinery Partners, LLC investors/partners include: Iogen Energy Corporation; Iogen Corporation; Goldman Sachs; and The Royal Dutch/Shell Group.
Range Fuels (formerly Kergy Inc.) of Broomfield, Colorado, up to $76 million. The proposed plant will be constructed in Soperton (Treutlen County), Georgia. The plant will produce about 40 million gallons of ethanol per year and 9 million gallons per year of methanol. As feedstock, the plant will use 1,200 tons per day of wood residues and wood based energy crops.
Range Fuels investors/participants include: Merrick and Company; PRAJ Industries Ltd.; Western Research Institute; Georgia Forestry Commission; Yeomans Wood and Timber; Truetlen County Development Authority; BioConversion Technology; Khosla Ventures; CH2MHill; Gillis Ag and Timber.