Northern Ethanol to build New York plant

By Anna Austin | August 04, 2008
Web exclusive posted Sept. 8, 2008 at 10:15 a.m. CST

Northern Ethanol LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toronto-based Northern Ethanol Inc., has secured an agreement with Praxair Inc. to acquire 70 acres for a hydro-powered ethanol plant in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The project was approved in May by the New York Power Authority for 9,000 kilowatts of hydro-power, which may potentially save the NYPA $35 million dollars through the duration of the contract. In addition to the plant, $245 million will be invested in building offices, a laboratory and a warehouse.

Roger Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive officer, said the NYPA is excited to bring the ethanol plant to Niagara County and contribute to the state's renewable fuel production. "Initiatives like this keep energy dollars in New York state by lessening dependence on foreign oil while curbing greenhouse gas emissions," he said, adding that the facility should create approximately 105 permanent new jobs and 500 construction jobs, while generating an annual payroll of $7 million.

The groundbreaking date for the 108 MMgy ethanol facility will occur during the first quarter of 2009. Construction is expected to be completed within 20 months. It will use approximately 37 million bushels of corn per year, generating 400,000 tons of dry distillers grains. The ethanol produced at the site will be transported by rail, truck and ship to blenders within New York state, as will as New Jersey, Connecticut and other parts of the Northeast.

Natalie Horrell, Northern Ethanol's director of corporate relations, said the key milestone with the Niagara Falls project will be acceptance into the New York State Brownfield Clean-Up Program. The program provides tax credits for the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites in New York state. A brownfield site is defined as property that is not being redeveloped because it is contaminated or might be contaminated. Under the Brownfield Cleanup Program, sites that are remediated and redeveloped anywhere in New York state may qualify for tax credits. The credits are enhanced for sites that fall within the environmental zones.

Northern Ethanol has also secured sites in Barrie, Ontario, for a 108 MMgy ethanol facility expected to be operational by 2010, and in Sarnia, Ontario, for another 108 MMgy plant which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2009.