Louisiana Green Fuels ramps up construction

By Craig Johnson | June 02, 2008
Web exclusive posted June 9, 2008 at 10:17 a.m. CST

Louisiana Green Fuels LLC has begun construction on a 25 MMgy ethanol plant at the Port of Lake Charles, La. In May, the company received its first shipment of component modules for construction. It intends to complete construction in 2009.

Recognizing the company's efficiency and industrial experience, Louisiana Green Fuels received a majority of its funding from $133 million worth of bonds, $100 million of which is tax-free. Funding through the Louisiana State Bond Commission represents the state's interest in the company's technology. The plant is part of the GO ZONE incentive program designed to stimulate the economic development in the hurricane affected gulf region.

The plant, which uses sugarcane and sweet sorghum as feedstocks, will be the first commercial-scale sucrose-based ethanol facility in the United States. Louisiana Green Fuels intends to take advantage of its proximity to Louisiana's sugarcane industry, using a business model similar to that employed by ethanol plants in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

Sucrose-based plants produce bagasse as a coproduct, which will be used by the Louisiana Green Fuels plant to power the facility. In addition, some of the material will be used to produce fertilizers on the land used for feedstock production. Louisiana Green Fuel directly manages 13,000 acres of farmland in addition to supporting importation of sweet sorghum to the gulf region.

Louisiana Green Fuels is planning to build another three identical plants, bringing 100 MMgy of ethanol to the gulf coast marketplace.