Bion Technologies pursues closed-loop ethanol plant

By Craig A. Johnson | December 09, 2009
Report posted Dec. 16, 2009, at 3:47 p.m. CST

Bion Environmental Technologies Inc. announced Dec. 14 that it has received the unanimous support of the Schroeppel, N.Y., town board for the development of a large scale integrated beef cattle finishing plant and closed-loop ethanol project. The initial phase will include finishing facilities for 72,000 beef cattle, ethanol production and an associated beef processing plant.

Bion intends for the facility to serve as a model for sustainable cattle production facilities. The company describes the plan as having "the smallest per-head environmental footprint of any large livestock operation in the world." Bion will use a patented, proprietary, waste treatment system to meet the strictest environmental standards in the country.

Bion expects that as much as 25,000 acres of previously abandoned, or under-utilized farm land will be needed to provide inputs for the project. Additionally, the project, when complete, could add as many as 600 jobs to the local economy.

Bion chose the site in north central New York because of the area's existing rail capacity and available port capacity, shipping products by barge and rail from the site near Syracuse.

The pre-construction phase is expected to take as long as two years. Bion's planned facility, co-located with a cattle finishing facility, is one of the only corn ethanol production plants currently planned in the U.S.

Schroeppel's town board voted to approve the resolution that supports Bion's project and urged other federal, state, and local officials to work cooperatively towards the development of the project.