Proposed Ethanol Plant List 2009: United States and Canada

By Megan Skauge, Ryan C. Christianson, Anna Austin, Erin Voegle, Hope Deutscher, Susanne Retka Schill, Ron Kotrba, Rona Johnson, Dave Nilles, Jessica Sobolik and Bryan Sims
By | March 05, 2009
Last year, EPM's annual Proposed Ethanol Plant List consisted of 118 projects, two of which have since begun construction. Economics were tough then and will likely continue to be in 2009. Therefore, this sixth annual list reflects what many in the industry have already known: The number of proposed plants in North America has decreased by 40 percent to 70, representing approximately 3.9 billion gallons of annual capacity.

Many project developers on this list are keeping a close eye on these economic conditions, not just as they pertain to the ethanol industry, but to the world. The downturn has ultimately hindered the ability for many ethanol companies to obtain funding, building materials and other necessities required for plant construction. Readers will notice that several projects on this list are on hold until market conditions improve.

Despite the challenging economics, it's probably no surprise that a number of projects are turning toward cellulosic feedstocks in an effort to meet the 2010 cellulosic biofuel requirement established in the new renewable fuels standard. The 2010 requirement is set at 1 million gallons and will increase incrementally to 16 billion gallons by 2022.

Of the 70 total plants listed, 25 intend to start construction in 2009. Thirty aim to use cellulosic feedstocks, some in combination with corn. Of those 30, eight plants representing approximately 170 MMgy plan to exclusively use municipal solid waste (MSW) as a feedstock. Another five plants representing 63 MMgy will exclusively use wood-based feedstocks.

Conventional ethanol production is still in the majority: Twenty-four plants representing 2.4 billion gallons of annual production capacity plan to use only corn as a feedstock.

A majority of proposed projects continue to come out of the Midwest, specifically the North Central-West region—North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri. There, 17 projects account for approximately 1.23 billion gallons of annual production capacity.

While there were fewer proposed projects in every other region this year, the South Atlantic—Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida—reported an increase with 11 projects representing 616 MMgy, compared with nine a year ago. Although there is only one ethanol plant currently producing in the South Atlantic—Southwest Georgia Ethanol LLC, a 100 MMgy plant in Camilla, Ga.—there are three more under construction with a projected capacity of 135 MMgy.

EPM couldn't find any proposed projects in the New England region this year.

As always, EPM reminds readers that the Proposed Ethanol Plant List is not intended to be an all-encompassing list but rather a broad depiction of trends in ethanol project development. This year, the EPM editorial staff attempted to contact more than 420 proposed projects in its database, and only those it heard back from, or obtained official public documentation for, are listed here. Several were labeled "defunct," in no way moving ahead ever, and are not listed here. Some projects chose not be included, and some didn't respond at all. In any case, EPM believes this list is a valuable resource that may ultimately indicate where the industry is headed.

Pacific

American Ethanol Inc.
Location: Santa Maria, Calif.
Target groundbreaking: late 2009
Feedstock: molasses/waste biomass
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to company President David Baskette, the permitting process is nearly complete and groundbreaking should occur later this year. In order to acquire financing during current economic conditions, the facility will use molasses and other biomass feedstocks instead of corn. Baskette hoped to close financing in mid-February 2009.

BlueFire Ethanol Lancaster LLC
Location: Lancaster, Calif.
Target groundbreaking: mid-2010
Feedstock: MSW
Capacity: 3.7 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to BlueFire Ethanol Inc. Chief Technology Officer John Cuzens, the company received the necessary conditional use and air permits, and is trying to arrange financing for this cellulosic ethanol facility. To ensure the continuous construction of the plant, its board of directors determined that groundbreaking would not occur until all the necessary funds are in place. BlueFire officials remained optimistic that the necessary capital can be raised with President Barack Obama in office and when the capital markets normalize.

BlueFire Mecca LLC
Location: Mecca, Calif.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: MSW
Capacity: 18 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: BlueFire Ethanol Inc. is progressing with the permitting and design of this cellulosic ethanol facility, according to Chief Technology Officer John Cuzens. In particular, the company is acquiring the necessary site control permits for the plant. It received a $40 million U.S. DOE grant to help pay for this facility.

The Green Fuel Association Pilot Plant
Location: Corning, Calif.
Target groundbreaking: second quarter 2009
Feedstock: molasses
Capacity: 1.5 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: The Green Fuel Association, formed in late 2008, hopes to complete construction of this pilot-scale cellulosic ethanol plant by the end of 2009, according to Public Relations Manager Lou Hecker. It's currently in the permitting process. Once built, the facility will be used to train personnel while the association builds an adjacent 40 MMgy commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility.

The Green Fuel Association Commercial Plant
Location: Corning, Calif.
Target groundbreaking: 2012
Feedstock: switchgrass
Capacity: 40 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: During the construction of its pilot-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, The Green Fuel Association will begin designing this adjacent commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility, according to Public Relations Manager Lou Hecker. The association plans to grow its own switchgrass feedstock on a 1,500-acre site near Corning, as well as contract with local farmers and ranchers who will also grow switchgrass for the facility.

Kauai Ethanol LLC
Location: Kaumakani, Hawaii
Target groundbreaking: October 2009
Feedstock: molasses/sugarcane bagasse
Capacity: 15 MMgy
Design/build team: Praj Industries Ltd.
Synopsis: This project will produce sugar and ethanol, and provide 20 megawatts of cogenerated electricity to the Kauai Island Utility Co-op, according to William Maloney, president of project developer Pacific West Energy LLC. Additional sugarcane bagasse and supplemental biomass will be processed into steam and electricity. Locally cultivated tropical sugar beets and sweet sorghum are also being considered as feedstocks, he says.

Pacific Biofuels & Energy Corp.
Location: Oahu, Hawaii
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: switchgrass
Capacity: 15 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to project spokesman Sam Monet, this project is in the planning stage. No further information is available.

Inland Pacific Energy Center LLC
Location: Stanfield, Ore.
Target groundbreaking: July or August 2009
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 120 MMgy
Design/build team: Delta-T Corp.
Synopsis: This company plans to build three adjacent 40 MMgy plants that utilize an advanced dry-grind fractionation process. "We are doing that to spread out the time frame of the building process, which will allow us to make some feedstock switches if we need to," says Project Manager Bob Doughty. It will also allow the company to take advantage of any new technologies that may develop as the plants are being built. The project includes three adjacent canola-based biodiesel plants with a combined total operating capacity of 96 MMgy. "We'll also have a large feed mill between the ethanol and biodiesel plants to use the distillers grains and the canola meal," he adds. Doughty says he's been working on securing project financing for five years and is close to reaching his goal.

Moses Lake Ethanol LLC
Location: Moses Lake, Wash.
Target groundbreaking: spring 2009
Feedstock: straw/ paper waste /wheat
Capacity: 60 MMgy
Design/build team: Liquafaction Corp.
Synopsis: According to company President Mark Mollo, plans for this facility include retrofitting a former ethanol plant built in 1990. Once the final $4 million of financing is in place, Mollo says he expects the retrofit will happen quickly, with possible start-up this summer. The necessary permits were obtained a year ago when Moses Lake Ethanol changed its feedstock from corn to cellulose after the corn market started fluctuating.

Mountain

Unnamed
Location: Arizona
Target groundbreaking: spring 2010
Feedstock: MSW
Capacity: 26 MMgy
Design/build team: Genahol LLC
Synopsis: According to Genahol President Don Bogner, his company is a partner in this first of three identical facilities under development in Arizona. The first plant will be located in Chandler, Ariz., but sites haven't been selected for the other two projects. Each plant would be capable of processing 2,000 tons of MSW per day.

Confluence Energy LLC
Location: Kremmling, Colo.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: wood chips
Capacity: 5 MMgy to 10 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: "The world has changed dramatically in the past six months," Chief Executive Officer Mark Mathis admits to EPM. "Still, we're moving forward." The company has signed letters of intent with unnamed technical partners and met with federal government representatives in mid-January to discuss loan guarantee options. Mathis also expects a "large petroleum company" to partner with the project. "We're just deciding how big to build it and who the players are," he says.

Great Western Ethanol LLC
Location: Evans, Colo.
Target groundbreaking: June 2009
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 115 MMgy
Design/build team: ICM Inc.
Synopsis: "Financing seems to be moving forward quickly," says Chief Executive Officer Jim Geist. He says he believes the current economic status of the ethanol industry "will turn around" and the company needs "to move quickly so we don't lose our slot." It hopes to take advantage of current market conditions, including lower raw material prices.

Montana Microbial Products LLC
Location: Montana, Idaho or eastern Oregon
Target groundbreaking: fall 2009
Feedstock: barley
Capacity: 2 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: "We're thinking about byproducts and coproducts in different ways," co-owner Cliff Bradley tells EPM. Although this facility would produce ethanol, it would focus more on the production of a high-value barley protein concentrate to be used as aquaculture feed (8,800 tons per year). "Initially, we would supply trout farm markets in Idaho," he says. Sites are being evaluated in Montana, Idaho and eastern Oregon, areas where feed barley—not malting barley—is abundant. Engineering is underway.

North Central-West

Dexter Ethanol LLC
Location: Dexter, Iowa
Target groundbreaking: mid-2009
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 58 MMgy
Design/build team: Agra Industries Inc./Delta-T Corp.
Synopsis: According to Agra Industries spokesman Bob Diedrick, a site has been identified and air permits have been secured, but additional funding is needed before groundbreaking will occur. After initial start-up, the plant will be expanded to 108 MMgy. Fractionation technology would then be installed, and fractionated residue would be used to heat and power the facility. This project is a subsidiary of Alpha Holdings LLC.

Harvest BioFuels LLC
Location: Galbraith, Iowa
Target groundbreaking: 2009
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 110 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: According to Harvest BioFuels Director of Contracting Mona De La Torre, a site has been identified, zoned and permitted for construction. Additional funding has yet to be finalized. Once funds have been raised, De La Torre says the company intends to break ground "once market conditions become favorable again."

Harvest BioFuels LLC
Location: Garner, Iowa
Target groundbreaking: 2009
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 110 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: According to Harvest BioFuels Director of Contracting Mona De La Torre, a site has been identified, zoned and permitted for construction. However, funding has yet to be finalized. Once funds have been raised, the company will break ground "once market conditions become favorable again," De La Torre says.

Harvest BioFuels LLC
Location: Gilmore City, Iowa
Target groundbreaking: 2009
Feedstock: 110 MMgy
Capacity: corn
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: According to Harvest BioFuels Director of Contracting Mona De La Torre, a site has been identified, zoned and permitted for construction. However, funding has yet to be finalized. Once funds have been raised, the company will break ground "once market conditions become favorable again," De La Torre says.

Tama Ethanol LLC
Location: Tama, Iowa
Target groundbreaking: spring 2009
Feedstock: cellulose/corn
Capacity: 58 MMgy
Design/build team: Agra Industries Inc./Delta-T Corp.
Synopsis: Air permits have been secured, and the company is in the process of obtaining financing, according to Chris Miller, owner and chief executive officer of parent company Alpha Holdings LLC. Once operational, this facility will be expanded to 108 MMgy and include a front-end fractionation process. Fractionated residue would be used to heat and power the plant. In addition, the company intends to capture carbon dioxide for on-site algae production.

Dial Ford County Bio-Renewable Fuels LLC
Location: Dodge City, Kan.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 130 MMgy
Design/build team: ICM Inc.
Synopsis: The company is securing funding for this proposed $432 million facility, according to Project Development Director Ted Osuniga. Once constructed, the plant would feature ICM's food-and-fuel design.

Central Minnesota Cellulosic Ethanol Partners
Location: Little Falls, Minn.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: woody biomass
Capacity: 10 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to General Manager Kerry Nixon, also general manager of Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op, the first phase of a feasibility study has been completed. The second phase of the study should be complete in June. The facility would be adjacent to CMEC's existing corn-based ethanol plant.

American Ethanol Inc.
Location: Sutton, Neb.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Foster, this project is on hold until market conditions improve.

E Energy Auburn
Location: Auburn, Neb.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: A representative of project partner Rawhide Management LLC said this project will move forward when market conditions improve.

DeWeese Biofuels LLC
Location: Fairfield, Neb.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 50 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: According to member manager Clay Rawhouser, this project is on hold until industry conditions improve.

E Energy Broken Bow
Location: Broken Bow, Neb.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: A representative of project partner Rawhide Management LLC says this project will move forward when market conditions improve.
Midwest Energy Producers LLC
Location: O'Neill, Neb.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 110 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to Vice President of Project Development Kurt Bravo, the company is working with lenders to secure equity, and debt financing has been secured.

Panhandle Ethanol LLC
Location: Lancaster County, Neb.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: hemicellulose
Capacity: 8 MMgy to 10 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: According to member manager Clay Rawhouser, this project is on hold until industry conditions improve.

Plymouth Ethanol LLC
Location: Jefferson County, Neb.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: cellulose
Capacity: 5 MMgy to 20 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: According to member manager Clay Rawhouser, this project is on hold until industry conditions improve.

Republican Valley Ethanol LLC
Location: Superior, Neb.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: milo
Capacity: 20 MMgy to 50 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: According to member manager Clay Rawhouser, this project is on hold until industry conditions improve.

Spiritwood Ethanol
Location: Jamestown, N.D.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to Duaine Espegard, director of lead project developer Newman Group, plans will move forward when market conditions improve.

Wagner Native Ethanol LLC
Location: Wagner, S.D.
Target groundbreaking: spring 2009
Feedstock: corn/milo
Capacity: 50 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: According to Project Coordinator Bill Riechers, this plant will be powered by biomass, taking in approximately 760 square bales of corn stover per day and producing 30 tons of pot ash fertilizer per day. A fractionation system will also be installed, so the facility could burn bran as an additional energy source.



South Central-West

Colusa Biomass Inc.
Location: Stuttgart, Ark.
Target groundbreaking: late March 2009
Feedstock: rice hulls/rice straw
Capacity: 12.5 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to Chief Financial Officer Tom Bowers, the plant will be located on a 40-acre parcel in the Stuttgart Industrial Park.

Pine Bluff Ethanol
Location: Pine Bluff, Ark.
Target groundbreaking: late 2009
Feedstock: corn/woody biomass
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to Bill Eason, president of Arkansas Farmers Biofuels LLC, project coordinators are still hoping to break ground on this project, but current market conditions are making it tough.

Oklahoma Ethanol LLC
Location: northern Oklahoma
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn/milo
Capacity: undeclared
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: Despite partner Oklahoma Sustainable Energy LLC dropping out of this project, Chaparral Energy, an Oklahoma City-based oil company, says it intends to move forward. "However, our project is essentially on hold until the financial markets improve," Chaparral Energy's Mike Maly says.

LoneStar Ethanol
Location: Port of Victoria, Texas
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn/milo
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: Vogelbusch USA Inc.
Synopsis: This project is on hold, pending an improvement in the economy, but LoneStar Ethanol Executive Director Ron White says he is optimistic that the project will advance in the future.

Novahol Brazos River LLC
Location: Stephenville, Texas
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: undeclared
Capacity: undeclared
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: This project is on hold due to touch economic conditions, according to Norcon International Inc. President Jerry Norman. He says by June, he hopes the project will advance.

Sunray Ethanol LLC
Location: Sunray, Texas
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn/milo
Capacity: 59 MMgy
Design/build team: ICM Inc.
Synopsis: This plant is being developed by Pivot Energy Inc. According to Wade Walker, the company's vice president, the project is currently in the financing stage. It will utilize ICM's corn-oil separation technology and is in close proximity to cattle feedlots. Permitting is being finalized.

Proposed Ethanol Plant Design/Build Teams


North Central-East

Algonquian Ethanol Plant LLC
Location: Princeton, Ill.
Target groundbreaking: fourth quarter 2009
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 108 MMgy
Design/build team: Delta-T Corp.
Synopsis: Chet Perry, president and chief executive officer of corporate manager and project developer ITEC Refining and Marketing Co. Ltd., says a majority of capital had been raised prior to the recession, but the project is now on hold. He says he is hopeful the ethanol industry and the nation's economy in general will improve by late 2009. ITEC is working with an unnamed company in Europe to modify the design of the plant to include a combined-heat-and-power unit that will reduce water consumption by 80 percent to 90 percent.

American Ethanol Inc.
Location: Danville, Ill.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn/cellulose
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Foster says the company owns a 175-acre plant site, but the project is on hold due to market uncertainty and a lack of financing.

American Ethanol Inc.
Location: San Jose, Ill.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn/cellulose
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Foster said the company had acquired an option to purchase 107 acres for this plant, but the project is on hold due to market uncertainty and a lack of financing.
Fulton Ethanol LLC
Location: Fulton, Ill.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 54 MMgy
Design/build team: Benchmark Design USA
Synopsis: Company spokesman Keith Holesinger says this project is ready for groundbreaking but on hold due to a lack of financing. The project design includes a biomass-fed combined-heat-and-power unit.

Illini Bio-Energy LLC
Location: Hartsburg, Ill.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 100 MMgy or 130 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: Spokeswoman Sara Wilcox says this project is on hold due to a lack of financing. The letter of intent signed by the design and construction firm has expired, and Illini Bio-Energy is considering building a smaller plant due to equity constraints. Wilcox says an updated design might include fractionation technology.

Powers Energy One of Indiana LLC
Location: Lake County, Ind.
Target groundbreaking: May 2009
Feedstock: MSW
Capacity: 30 MMgy
Design/build team: KBR Inc.
Synopsis: In late November, Lake County, Ind., officials approved a 15-year contract with Indiana-based Powers Energy One for the construction and operation of this facility. An engineering team was in the process of selecting a site from two options within Lake County in mid-January, according to Powers Energy of America President Earl Powers. The necessary permits are also being obtained. This plant has committed to processing 2,000 tons of MSW per day, but if neighboring counties become involved, this total could increase to up to 10,000 tons per day and 150 MMgy of ethanol production. Ineos Bio, which has operated a pilot plant in Fayetteville, Ark., for five years, will act as a technical partner on the project. "There's nobody else out there that has the technology we have," Powers says. Powers Energy of America owns Powers Energy One of Indiana and Powers Energy Two of Kentucky LLC.

Putnam Ethanol LLC
Location: west central Indiana
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: This project is still in the feasibility study stage, and a location hasn't been finalized yet. The feedstock may change as the technology/market changes, according to Bill Dory of the Putnam County Economic Development Office.

Frontier Renewable Resources LLC
Location: Kinross Charter Township, Mich.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: woody biomass
Capacity: 40 MMgy
Design/build team: Mascoma Corp.
Synopsis: Frontier Renewable Resources is the entity formed by Mascoma and its Michigan partner JM Longyear LLC to commercialize the cellulosic ethanol technology developed by Mascoma. The consolidated bioprocessing is described as a single-step, cellulose-to-ethanol process designed to lower costs by limiting additives and enzymes, according to Mascoma spokeswoman Kate Casolaro. The estimated $300 million project held pre-scoping meetings in February prior to beginning the permitting process. The project received a $26 million DOE grant and $23.5 million from the state of Michigan.

Genahol LLC
Location: Canton, Ohio
Target groundbreaking: 2010
Feedstock: MSW
Capacity: 16 MMgy to 32 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to company President Don Bogner, this facility will process 500 tons of MSW per day, possibly increasing to 1,500 tons per day. Site development is underway, and Bogner says the company is looking into state and federal funding for the project.

SuGanit Systems Inc.
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Target groundbreaking: early 2010
Feedstock: compost/yard waste
Capacity: undeclared
Design/build team: SuGanit Systems Inc.
Synopsis: The city of Toledo, The University of Toledo and the Toledo-Lucas Port Authority are working in conjunction with SuGanit Systems to build this commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility. Meanwhile, the company hoped to open a pilot plant in March. It would produce 80 to 100 gallons of ethanol per day. Funding is being provided by the city of Toledo in hopes the commercial-scale facility will save taxpayer dollars.

Belmont Bio-Ag LLC
Location: Belmont, Wis.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 50 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: Late last fall, all permits were in place, but when the financial and commodity markets went sour, this project was put on hold, according to board Chairman Bob Brodbeck. This project was taking an integrated approach by using all waste streams for energy or value-added products. A proposed feedlot was removed from the project in order to get the final permit, but the possibility remains of revisiting that component once the plant is in operation for four years. "It's on ice until we see a turn in the markets," Brodbeck says.

Sharon Ethanol LLC
Location: Sharon, Wis.
Target groundbreaking: fall 2009
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 120 MMgy
Design/build team: Delta-T Corp.
Synopsis: Air permits are in hand for this proposed plant that would utilize dry fractionation at the front end of the ethanol process, according to Jeff Knight, managing director of project developer Global Renewable LLC. He says financing arrangements are being finalized in parallel with a 10-year offtake agreement that is under negotiation.

South Central-East

Tennessee Valley Agri-Energy LLC
Location: Colbert County, Ala.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 110 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: Initially hoping to become a publicly traded company in order to wrangle up enough capital for construction, Tennessee Valley Agri-Energy took a different path once its members realized how poor the public equity markets had become. While the company is struggling like any other today, business manager Phil Foster says this project is far from dead.

Central Appalachian Ethanol Plant
Location: Pike County, Ky.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: MSW/wood waste/yard waste
Capacity: 20 MMgy
Design/build team: RW Armstrong/GeneSyst International Inc.
Synopsis: Zig Resiak, program director of project owner Agresti Biofuels LLC, tells EPM this facility's continuous flow process design would utilize weak acid hydrolysis and gravity pressure vessels to break down biomass into fermentable sugars. Agresti Biofuels and Pike County were on the verge of signing a terms and conditions sheet, which Resiak says would be followed by equity and debt financing. "Getting equity lined up in this economic environment is touchy," he adds.

Powers Energy Two of Kentucky LLC
Location: Henderson or Webster County, Ky.
Target groundbreaking: May 2009
Feedstock: MSW
Capacity: 47 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: The air permit for this project has been received, along with a $335,000 planning grant and $15 million energy grant. The MSW feedstock includes "auto fluff"—the interior materials of abandoned automobiles—and a small amount of tars. This project will take in 2,000 tons of MSW per day, but the auto fluff and tars will produce more ethanol than the company's similar project in Lake County, Ind., according to Powers Energy of America President Earl Powers. The waste stream contracts from three counties and the city of Henderson, Ky., were being finalized at press time. Financing will begin after that. Ineos Bio, which has operated a pilot plant in Fayetteville, Ark., for five years, will act as a technical partner in the project. "There's nobody else out there that has the technology we have," Powers says. Powers Energy of America owns Powers Energy One of Indiana and Powers Energy Two of Kentucky.

Agro*Gas Industries LLC
Target groundbreaking: late summer 2009
Location: McMinn County, Tenn.
Feedstock: ag waste/industrial waste/kudzu
Capacity: 12 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to cofounder Doug Mizell, a site has been identified, lawyers have been hired and environmental studies are being conducted to determine the feasibility of this project. He said this state-of-the-art cellulosic ethanol plant is expected use multiple feedstocks, including kudzu, a vine commonly used for forage and erosion control, but also a serious weed in the Southeast.

Middle Atlantic

GREEN Holding LLC
Location: Tremont, Pa.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 120 MMgy
Design/build team: Katzen International Inc.
Synopsis: GREEN Holding—an acronym for Green Renewable Energy, Ethanol & Nutrition—intends to build a conventional ethanol plant with back-end oil extraction, from which corn oil will be converted to biodiesel on-site. Once that's complete and operational, according to GREEN Holding's Jeffrey Dershem, the plan is to integrate synthesis gas fermentation technology into the ethanol plant in 2011 or 2012.

South Atlantic

Coskata Inc.
Location: Clewiston, Fla.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: sugarcane/sugarcane bagasse
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Design/build team: Coskata Inc.
Synopsis: Warrenville, Ill.-based cellulosic ethanol developer Coskata announced in November that it had reached an agreement with Clewiston, Fla.-based United States Sugar Corp. for the construction of this project. Under the agreement, the partners were expected to seek loan guarantees from the USDA and a financial match from the Florida Energy Office.

Ethanol Technology Services Inc.
Location: Osceola County, Fla.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: sweet sorghum
Capacity: 30 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: According to Chief Executive Officer Bruce Nason, this project was ready to go when the global economic crisis hit, which halted financing. At press time, Ethanol Technology Services was in discussions with another large investor. Land and air permits have been received, and the project is approved by the Florida Public Service Commission. Nason's sweet sorghum fieldwork has resulted in 60- to 70-ton-per-acre yields for a potential ethanol yield of 600 gallons per acre per harvest, with two harvests per year possible. Future plans include building two more adjacent ethanol plants and producing renewable energy in an integrated project.

Highlands Ethanol Project
Location: Brighton, Fla.
Target groundbreaking: mid-2009
Feedstock: energy cane/sorghum
Capacity: 36 MMgy
Design/build team: Verenium Corp.
Synopsis: In January, Cambridge, Mass.-based Verenium received a $7 million grant through the Florida Farm to Fuel Initiative and signed a long-term feedstock supply agreement with Lykes Brothers Inc., from which it has leased land to build this cellulosic ethanol facility. Permitting is underway, with the special use permit from Highlands County in hand in January. Negotiations were underway with an engineering, procurement and construction contractor. The estimated cost of the biochemical facility is $250 million to $300 million based on technology first developed by a University of Florida team led by Lonnie Ingram. Pretreatment involves mild acid hydrolysis and steam explosion, followed by a solids separation step. Liquid sugars are sent to C5 fermentation, while the cellulose and lignin go to simultaneous enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. Recovered lignin is used for process heat.

Highlands Envirofuels LLC
Location: Lake Placid, Fla.
Target groundbreaking: first quarter 2010
Feedstock: sugarcane/sweet sorghum
Capacity: 20 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: A grower database has been developed over the past year with some of those growers investing in the project, according to Bradley Krohn, manager of Highlands Envirofuels and president of project developer U.S. EnviroFuels LLC. At press time, this project was close to announcing the technology providers for the sugar mill and ethanol process, after which the process design and permitting will get underway. The project received a $7 million grant from the Florida Farm to Fuel Initiative.

Ineos New Planet BioEnergy LLC
Location: Florida
Target groundbreaking: late 2009
Feedstock: construction and demolition debris/MSW/woody biomass
Capacity: 8 MMgy
Design/build team: Ineos Bio
Synopsis: New Planet Energy LLC has entered into a joint venture with Ineos Bio to build a cellulosic ethanol plant at an undisclosed location in Florida using a combined thermal chemical and fermentation process developed by Ineos Bio. The joint venture is picking up the project initially led by Alico Inc. that received one of the first rounds of DOE funding for cellulosic ethanol in 2007. Ineos New Planet BioEnergy was strongly encouraged to reapply for the DOE funding, says Craig Evans, a consultant working with New Planet Energy, and the project is waiting to hear from the DOE before moving forward. The commercial demonstration plant would have the capability of expanding to 72 MMgy. While starting with wood waste as a feedstock, the goal is to use MSW, tires, plastic and other waste streams, as well.

Southeast Renewable Fuels LLC
Location: Hendry County, Fla.
Target groundbreaking: fourth quarter 2009
Feedstock: sweet sorghum
Capacity: 20 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: Financing for the first of three proposed plants was close to being finalized in February, according to Chief Operating Officer Don Markely. A site had been identified, and permit applications had been submitted. Southeast Renewable Fuels intends to build three plants in the Lake Okeechobee area with a combined capacity of 100 MMgy.

TPG LLC
Location: Clewiston, Fla.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: citrus waste
Capacity: 4 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: Initial permitting is complete, but this project is on hold due to a lack of funding, according to Manager Dave Stewart. The plant would be adjacent to a citrus processing facility.

East Coast Ethanol LLC
Location: Jessup, Ga.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 110 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: As the first of four plants proposed by East Coast Ethanol in the Southeast, this Georgia project has completed the zoning and permitting processes, according to Chief Financial Officer John Long. The project is ready for dirt work to begin once finances are in place. While the equity drive is still active and individuals have bought in, the focus has shifted to potential large investors and companies.

East Coast Ethanol LLC
Location: Seabord, N.C.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 110 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: As the fourth of four plants proposed by East Coast Ethanol in the Southeast, this North Carolina project is in the pre-construction phase. Zoning has been approved, options on land are in place, and permitting is underway, according to Chief Financial Officer John Long. While the equity drive is still active and individuals have invested, the fundraising focus has shifted to potential large investors and companies.

East Coast Ethanol LLC
Location: Chester, S.C.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn
Capacity: 110 MMgy
Design/build team: Fagen Inc./ICM Inc.
Synopsis: As the third of four plants proposed by East Coast Ethanol in the Southeast, the South Carolina project is in the midst of permitting and pre-construction preparation, according to Chief Financial Officer John Long. Zoning has been approved, and options on land are in place. While the equity drive is still active and individuals have bought in, the fundraising focus has shifted to potential large investors and companies.

Osage BioEnergy LLC
Location: Carlisle, S.C.
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: barley
Capacity: 68 MMgy
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: Osage BioEnergy has purchased land and acquired permits for this project, and is awaiting an improvement in economic conditions before moving forward, according to John Warren, director of government relations. This would be Osage BioEnergy's second project; its Appomattox BioEnergy facility is under construction in Hopewell, Va. Others are under consideration.



Canada

Enerkem Greenfield Alberta Biofuels LP
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Target groundbreaking: mid-2009
Feedstock: MSW
Capacity: 37.8 MMly (10 MMgy)
Design/build team: Enerkem Inc./GreenField Ethanol
Synopsis: Enerkem Inc. and GreenField Ethanol are collaborating on this project. The two companies will jointly own, build and operate this cellulosic ethanol facility, according to Marie Helene Labrie, Enerkem's vice president of government affairs and communications. They signed a 25-year agreement with the city of Edmonton to supply 100,000 tons of sorted MSW per year. The environmental permit has been submitted, and applications for more permits are underway in order to proceed with construction, which was expected to be complete by early 2011.

Strathmore Bio-Village Inc.
Location: Strathmore, Alberta
Target groundbreaking: August 2009
Feedstock: wheat
Capacity: 100 MMly (30 MMgy)
Design/build team: Delta-T Corp.
Synopsis: The groundbreaking date for this plant was pushed back approximately six months because of the economic recession, according to Gordon Hart, chief executive officer and chairman of CR Fuels Inc. "We are building a power plant on-site and will be taking the wastewater from the local community to use as process water," he says. The company plans to employ anaerobic digestion technology and possibly build a 40 MMgy biodiesel plant that will use canola as a feedstock.

EToH Energy LLC
Location: Russell, Manitoba
Target groundbreaking: April 2009
Feedstock: wheat
Capacity: 150 MMly (40 MMgy)
Design/build team: North America Construction Ltd.
Synopsis: Initial groundbreaking for this project was expected in late 2008, but the frozen ground pushed groundbreaking to March or April, according to Ernest Sittenfeld, executive vice president of Naples, Fla.-based EToH Energy Marketing Corp. He says the company was waiting to obtain permits for the plant, which is expected to create approximately 50 local jobs once operational.

Cypress Agri Energy Inc.
Location: Shaunavon, Saskatchewan
Target groundbreaking: fall 2009
Feedstock: wheat
Capacity: 150 MMly (40 MMgy)
Design/build team: ICM Inc./North America Construction Ltd.
Synopsis: According to Karri Sachkowski, corporate secretary for Cypress Agri Energy, the company has been working on this project for seven years and is looking to secure more funding.

Iogen Corp.
Location: north central Saskatchewan
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: wheat straw
Capacity: 90 MMly (24 MMgy)
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: This commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant is expected to use the same technology employed at Iogen's 2 MMgy demonstration plant in Ottawa, according to Communications Director Mandy Chepeka.

CSEA Co-op Inc.
Location: Tillsonburg, Ontario
Target groundbreaking: undeclared
Feedstock: corn/sweet potatoes
Capacity: 150 MMly (40 MMgy)
Design/build team: undeclared
Synopsis: This ethanol plant is part of a larger project that involves green energy, according to Berry Murray, president of Sand Plains Energy Corp. and a founder of CSEA Co-op Inc. The project was planned for one of the Ontario Power Authority's green zones, which would have made it eligible for a 20-year fixed contract to provide electricity to a utility. However, the green zone designation was pulled, which made obtaining funding difficult. Murray says CSEA Co-op is pursuing an explanation for why the green designation was dropped and whether the decision can be overturned. "We've been trying to bounce back," he says. "We're not giving up." Once the cooperative establishes its energy center, it will use the waste energy to run the ethanol plant. Murray says the town of Tillsonburg is excited about the project that would lead to the planting of 40,000 acres of energy crops in an area where tobacco is no longer grown.

Proposed North American Feedstocks