Abengoa Commissions Biomass Cellulosic Ethanol Plant
Today is the start of a new era for the bioenergy industry as the promise of a domestic, sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative energy source becomes a reality. Abengoa has completed in Hugoton, Kansas, the construction of a plant that will produce 25 million gallons per year of cellulosic-based ethanol to American transportation markets.
The Abengoa plant in Hugoton is a major accomplishment for the people in and around Stevens County, Kansas, but it also generates a global impact. We have taken a great product that generates economic benefits, improves the environment and increases our energy security. We make ethanol from feedstock that would otherwise be considered waste or low value, ensuring increased sustainability and even better environmental benefits.
Commercial operation of the Abengoa plant in Southwest Kansas ushers in a new era of high-tech fuel production. The plant uses enzymes developed by Abengoa, that break down both three and five-chain sugars. By combining enzymes with specially developed yeast products the cellulose to ethanol conversion process is even more efficient than in the past. In recently publicized studies, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley estimate that on a life-cycle basis, cellulosic ethanol could lower greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent relative to petroleum-based gasoline.
” Abengoa plant in Hugoton is a source of economic and friendly energy environment.
The community and farmers supplying the Abengoa plant have said that it is a major source of pride in Hugoton, and an important source of economic development.
During the construction phase, the plant created 300 local construction jobs for two years and contributed hundreds of millions of dollars towards the purchase of local services, goods and supplies every year. Now in full operation, the plant employs 70 permanent staff with an estimated annual payroll of $5 million, to be added to the wealth created among the local rural community.
The majority of the electricity generated from biomass at the plant will be also used to power plant operations. This provides a cost-effective and environmentally conscious power source for the commercial grade facility.
The excess electricity will be used commercially to provide the citizens of Kansas with renewable power that also respects the air that we breathe. In addition to being a sustainable energy source, the electric generators at the plant provide a valuable use of by-products of the cellulosic conversion process.
At full capacity, the plant will utilize 350,000-400,000 tons of biomass per year. The majority will come from corn stover, with the remaining amount coming primarily from wheat residue and a small amount from grain sorghum residue and energy crops, such as switchgrass.
” The October 17, 2014 is a milestone in the history of Abengoa and a breakthrough in the sustainability of the planet.
From a global perspective, the cellulosic ethanol plant in Kansas is one of three commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plants scheduled to come on-line this fall and early next year. Combined, these plants will produce nearly 80 million gallons of renewable, sustainable fuel annually.
Today is a great day for Abengoa, and we are happy. But more important, today is a great day for the sustainability of our planet, and that make us feel proud.
All of this is the result of the extraordinary work by our people over many years – performed with commitment, talent and passion, for which we are very grateful.