Do you know what is one of the best things about blog-style news sites? It gives the editors the freedom to not only spark feedback from readers, but to share that feedback with the rest of the site’s subscribers. One subscriber, Tim, pointed out the how ethanol is moving forward in Oregon. I thought that both what he found and what he had to say are every bit of post worthy:
What do democratic Oregon Governor Kulongoski, republican Congressman Greg Walden, an Eastern Oregon Wheat farmer and a barge operator have in common? They were all among the 500 people in Boardman, Oregon on October 5th celebrating the grand opening of Pacific Ethanol’s state-of-the-art biorefinery, Oregon’s first opportunity to produce its own motor fuel. This video shows how renewable fuels are breaking down old political barriers between urban and rural America.
Oregon is doing renewable fuels right–having passed a landmark legislative package that ensures market access; creates incentives for local feedstocks; and encourages efficient production and investment in new technology. The policy is already translating into on-the-ground investment. Oregon provides a great model for other states across the country looking to reap the economic and environmental benefits of renewable fuels.
An article from The Sacramento Business Journal has spotlighted a company that’s shifting some gears and making more room for research in ethanol production. Celia Lamb reports that Novozymes Inc., part of Davis biotechnology company – a company that focuses on industrial enzyme research – is investing in additional space and personnel to boost it’s resources for ethanol exploration. Here’s a portion of that article:
Davis biotechnology company Novozymes Inc. plans to add about 35 scientists and a 20,000-square-foot laboratory building by the end of 2009.
It’s part of a bigger U.S. expansion for parent company Novozymes A/S, based in Denmark. The parent company, which has $1.5 billion in annual revenue and 4,500 employees nationwide, is riding a wave of technological advancements and increasing demand in the industrial enzyme business.
In the past few years, it has expanded its research focus to include developing enzymes to break down plant cellulose and make ethanol fuel. The company is increasing the number of scientists working on that technology, company president Ejner Bech Jensen said.
Advanced BioEnergy, LLC has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Heartland Grain Fuels, L.P., has closed on a $118 million financing package for its South Dakota ethanol production facilities.
According to the company, the financing will be used to refinance Heartland Grain Fuels’ existing debt, complete construction of a 40 million gallons nameplate per year expansion facility at Heartland’s existing Aberdeen plant, and pay for operating costs at both the Aberdeen and Huron production facilities.
Advanced BioEnergy CEO Revis L. Stephenson III said, “We believe that this financing provides us with sufficient debt financing to complete construction of our 40 million gallon nameplate capacity per year Aberdeen expansion facility. Together with our third facility in Fairmont, Nebraska, which we expect will come on line in October of this year, and our existing operating facilities in Huron and Aberdeen, South Dakota, Advanced BioEnergy’s ethanol production capacity when fully operational will approach 200 million gallons per year.”
A proposed ethanol plant in Mayfield, Pennsylvania is planning to be a green new breed.
Northeast Ethanol would not only be the first ethanol plant in Pennsylvania, it plans to have “the world’s smallest environmental footprint. No odor. No noise. No wastewater from the process.”
According to the company’s website, the design of the plant calls for the world’s latest biotechnology. “It’s so clean and efficient that we’ll use far less water and less energy than run-of-the-mill ethanol plants. 50% less water. 25% less fossil fuel.”
The new generation plant is being designed by Delta-T Corporation. In a Times-Tribune article, Delta-T spokesman Thomas Corle said the $150 million facility would capture its own steam to eliminate any industrial plume, reducing atmospheric emissions by more than 90 percent. “Basically, it’s going to eliminate the smell completely,” Mr. Corle said.
The proposed site for the plant is a 100-acre brownfield which would require a substantial initial cleanup and local officials must still be convinced that the plant is a good idea for the community. A group of officials will be visiting Iowa this weekend to tour an ethanol facility and find out more about it.
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski cut the ribbon on the Pacific Northwest’s first commercial ethanol plant Friday in Boardman.
The plant, built by California-based Pacific Ethanol, will produce 40 million gallons of ethanol yearly to help meet the current City of Portland’s Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and will help supply fuel for the implementation of Oregon’s upcoming RFS slated to begin January 1, 2008.
In addition to supplying the Northwest fuel markets, the plant produces 350,000 tons of wet distillers grains, an important feed ingredient to Northwest dairy and beef producers.
After all the excitement at the ethanol pump promotion yesterday, I have a day of calm before race weekend event frenzy. I decided to take advantage of my down time and stake out a spot in the media center at the Chicagoland Speedway. EPIC’s Director of Communications Joanna Schroeder and Marketing Director Jenny Powell popped in for a visit and hopped online. Joanna snapped this photo of Jenny and me. I’m looking forward to giving you full race weekend coverage from my newly staked out “command center.”
A newly appropriated biofuel center in North Carolina will be the state’s launch pad for its latest targeted benchmark with biofuels.
Catalyzing an entire new industry for North Carolina is the long-term task of the newly established Biofuels Center of North Carolina, which moved to reality Tuesday following its first board of directors meeting.
Funded with a $5 million initial appropriation from the 2007 General Assembly, the non-profit corporation will in coming years implement North Carolina’s Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership. The Plan was mandated by the General Assembly in 2006 and presented to its Environmental Review Commission in April of this year.
The Plan offers a challenging goal: by 2017, 10 percent of liquid fuels sold in North Carolina will come from biofuels grown and produced within the state.
At current usage rates, production of almost 600 million gallons will be required.
“Meeting this bold goal will require enormous commitment, new resources, and untold acres of energy crops across the state,” said W. Steven Burke, chair of the Biofuels Center’s board of directors. “Meeting the goal will also yield a sector of impact statewide, particularly for rural and agricultural communities. How often does a state have opportunity to create a large new industry with widespread benefit?” Continue reading →
The developers of a proposed 216 million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant in Chesapeake have mounted a major campaign to educate the community about ethanol.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that developer International Bio Energy Virginia LLC has hired a public relations professional and is taking out full-page ads in local newspapers to try and address community concerns about the plant.
“I understand it’s an uphill battle, and I’m going to stay in the fight,” said ITAC Engineers & Constructors Senior Vice President Rick Starnes, a key player in the project who spent more than 20 hours last week walking Brentwood to discuss the plant with residents. “I wouldn’t work this hard if I didn’t think this was the right project for this area.”
Over the past two weeks, the developer has taken six planning commissioners on walking tours of the site and been knocking on doors in Chesapeake’s Brentwood neighborhood near the proposed site.
Company President Sidney Harrison said they are out to give the facts about the alternative fuel.
“We only have a short amount of time to educate the people because they’ve been fed so much junk,” Harrison said. “This is about jobs. This is about tax base. This is about energy security. This is a very serious project.”
Photo credit of proposed plant site: STEVE EARLEY, THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT
With the slogan “Fueling America, Feeding the World,”LifeLine Foods is opening a new generation ethanol plant in St. Joseph, Missouri that could eventually put to rest the whole “food versus fuel” issue.
This episode of “Fill up, Feel Good” features comments from LifeLine Foods CEO Bill Becker, ICM Inc. President Dave VanderGriend and National Corn Growers Association president and one of LifeLine’s grower-owners Ken McCauley. The interviews for this program were recorded during LifeLine’s grand opening on August 24.
The “Fill up, Feel Good” podcast is available to download by subscription (see our sidebar link) or you can listen to it by clicking here (5:00 MP3 File):
The Fill Up, Feel Good theme music is “Tribute to Joe Satriani” by Alan Renkl, thanks to the Podsafe Music Network.