The Bluegrass State will soon be using switchgrass to produce ethanol at a new cellulosic facility to be built by Alltech of Lexington.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear visited the headquarters of Alltech this weekend for the ribbon cutting of the company’s new Nutrigenomics Center. Alltech is an international company involved in a variety of enterprises from animal nutrition and biotechnology to horse racing and malt whiskey. The governor says everyone is very excited about Alltech’s new venture into biofuels.
“We put together an incentive package at the state level of about $8 million to assist the company in doing that and now with this up to $30 million that the federal government has stepped up and provided, it’s going to be a great thing for the Commonwealth,” Beshear said in an interview with Domestic Fuel. “We want to be a leader in the development of alternative fuels and the cellulosic approach is where we are heading long term on that. I think it’s going to be a win-win for everybody.”
Alltech president Dr. Pearse Lyons says he was humbled to receive one of the three new DOE grants announced last week and he is confident about the project, which will cost an estimated $70 million. “In 15-18 months, we will be using what we call solid state fermentation to go forward cracking cellulose to ethanol,” said Lyons. “And we will use 30 percent corn stover or switchgrass.”
Lyons says the plant will be built by a new Alltech subsidiary called Ecofin, under the management of his son, Dr. Mark Lyons.
Listen to an interview with Governor Beshear here:
Listen to Dr. Lyons’ comments about the project here: