USDA selects Chemtex for $3.9 million BCAP project
Chemtex International announced today that it has been selected by the USDA to participate in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. The $3,996,000 award will support establishing and growing over 4,000 acres of miscanthus and switchgrass across 11 counties in North Carolina – Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pender, Sampson and Wayne. This feedstock will be part of the biomass supply for Project Alpha, a 20 MMgy cellulosic ethanol biorefinery planned to be built in Sampson County with a plant startup expected in 2014.
BCAP helps farmers with start-up costs of planting non-food energy crops for conversion to heat, power, biobased products and advanced biofuels. The goal of BCAP is to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil, reduce pollution and spur rural economic development and job creation.
“Chemtex’s planned biorefineries, supported by this BCAP award, will help revitalize both agriculture and manufacturing in North Carolina, while increasing the production of biofuels from locally grown feedstock” said Guido Ghisolfi, president of Chemtex Group. “The award will jumpstart action by farmers to plant profitable non-food energy crops that will then be used in local production of profitable advanced biofuels. Local economies and U.S. energy security will benefit as plants roll out across the country.”
The planned cellulosic ethanol plant will use Beta Renewable’s Proesa technology to deliver cost-competitive ethanol using non-food biomass as its feedstock. Proesa is the same technology as will be used at the world’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy, expected to start operations in the fall of 2012, and in a series of plants to be built by GraalBio in Brazil. Because Proesa enables the use of multiple types of feedstock, farmers gain flexibility in choosing which non-food crops to grow. Repreve Renewables will supply its trademarked Freedom variety of high-yield, low-maintenance giant miscanthus to farmers as part of this project.