Ineos New Planet BioEnergy (INPB), a joint venture between Ineos Bio and New Planet Energy, broke ground on the $130-million, commercial-scale Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Florida. The BioEnergy Center will convert yard, vegetative and household wastes into cellulosic ethanol and renewable power for the local community.
The core of the Ineos Bio technology is a patented anaerobic fermentation step, through which naturally occurring bacteria convert gases derived directly from biomass-derived syngas into ethanol. (Earlier post.) The INEOS Bio process can produce ethanol and renewable energy from numerous feedstocks, including construction waste, municipal solid waste and forestry and agricultural waste.
The BioEnergy Center technology was developed by Ineos Bio, a part of Ineos, the world’s fourth largest petrochemicals company. The Indian River BioEnergy Center will be the first commercial scale project in the world using Ineos Bi’s patented technology. Ineos Bio will license the BioEnergy technology globally.
When production starts in mid-2012, the Indian River BioEnergy Center will produce 8 million gallons of bioethanol and 6 megawatts (gross) of renewable power, of which approximately two megawatts will be exported to the local community. This renewable electricity will be able to power approximately 1,400 homes.
In addition to support from the State of Florida in the form of a $2.5-million grant, the BioEnergy Center has received significant support from the US government. In late 2009, the project received a $50-million Grant from the US Department of Energy as part of its Section 932 Integrated Biorefinery program and it will be the first large-scale commercial project awarded under this program to begin construction. More recently, the project received a conditional commitment for a $75-million loan guarantee from the US Department of Agriculture as part of its Biorefinery Assistance Program.