Chemtex build cellulosic ethanol facility in North Carolina

Chemtex to build cellulosic ethanol facility in North Carolina

4:43 AM, 23rd August 2012
Chemtex to build cellulosic ethanol facility in North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA, US: Chemtex International Inc received a conditional USDA loan guarantee to build a 20 MMgy cellulosic ethanol facility in eastern North Carolina’s Sampson County. Project Alpha is planning to use energy grasses as feedstock, with an estimated 30,000 acres of production needed to supply the facility. Chemtex will use Beta Renewables’ Prosea technology to produce cost-competitive ethanol using non-food biomass as its feedstock. This is the same technology that will be used at the world’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy, expected to start operations this fall, and also in a series of plants to be built by GraalBio in Brazil. Novozymes has also partnered with Chemtex on the project.

In June, Chemtex was awarded $3.9 million by the USDA, under its Biomass Crop Assistance Programme, to support the establishment of over 4,000 acres of miscanthus and switchgrass across 11 counties in North Carolina to help supply the new facility. The net increased revenue to local growers is projected to be $4.5 million per year, according to the USDA, and is targeted at helping to solve an issue faced by the state’s pork industry.

“Chemtex wishes to thank the USDA for their vision and their confidence in our project. Realizing a first industrial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant here in the USA and proving that it can produce cost competitive sustainable ethanol is an important milestone in the commercialization process of advanced biofuels. We believe that Project Alpha can become a model for future cellulosic ethanol production in America. Local economies and US energy security will benefit,” said Guido Ghisolfi, President, Chemtex and CEO, Beta Renewables.

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