It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg debate…ethanol plants have to have feedstock secured before potential funding can be arranged, and farmers won’t commit to growing biofuel feedstock without a market. Chemtex, an Italian based company has selected a site near Clinton, North Carolina in Sampson County as a location for a lignon cellulosic ethanol plant.
Chemtex International US Director of Ag Supply Chain Development, Matt Harrod brings us up to date on the progress:
“As of today, the first facility is opening in Italy, from a 20 million gallon facility, it will be a sister facility to the one we would build in Clinton. The update on the facility here is that we are working with local officials to get our feed stocks in place and approval on spray fields.
This plant will not use any food grain, it doesn’t compete with livestock or humans. For example you can use anything from wheat straw to wood chips to switch grass, it takes you from around 400 gallons per acre in the mid west from corn ethanol, to something close to 1200 gallons from lignon cellulosic. One of the great things is you can raise these crops on ground that may not be so good for row crops. Spray fields are a major attraction here in NC.
The plan is that by next summer we have completed financial closing and try to start pushing dirt sometime in late 2013 or early 2014. We’d like to have the facility completed and up and running January 1, 2015.
We are bit limited on geography just because of transportation costs, but in a 30-40 mile radius we intend to obtain as much of this as possible. It makes a good second income stream or diversification for a farmer who may have some land that is not suitable for row crops.”
Matt Harrod, Director of US Supply Chain Development for Chemtex International.
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