INEOS Bio today announced that its Indian River BioEnergy Center (Centre) is now producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale. First ethanol shipments will be released in August. This is the first commercial-scale production in the world using INEOS Bio’s breakthrough gasification and fermentation technology for conversion of biomass waste into bioethanol and renewable power.
“We are delighted with the progress made by our team at Vero Beach”, said Peter Williams, CEO of INEOS Bio and Chairman of INEOS New Planet BioEnergy. “They have successfully addressed the challenges of moving a new technology to large production scale for the very first time. Consequently, we are now pleased to announce that we are producing commercial quantities of bioethanol from vegetative and wood waste, and at the same time exporting power to the local community – a world first. We expect to spend the remainder of 2013 putting the plant through its paces, and demonstrating full nameplate capacity.”
Dr. Williams added, “All that we have seen so far validates the technical and economic viability of the technology. We remain convinced that the ability to divert waste materials from communities by converting them into competitively priced renewable fuel and power offers an excellent value proposition. It helps solve waste disposal issues, contributes to the supply of affordable and renewable fuel and energy, creates attractive jobs, and provides a sustainable source of value for the community. We look forward to taking the next steps in building a global business based on the broad deployment of this advanced technology."
The BioEnergy Centre is a joint venture project between INEOS Bio and New Planet Energy. The facility has already converted several types of waste biomass material into bioethanol, including vegetative and yard waste, and citrus, oak, pine, and pallet wood waste. It will have an annual output of eight million gallons (24kta) of cellulosic ethanol and six megawatts (gross) of renewable power. The Centre is also permitted to utilize municipal solid waste (MSW), quantities of which will be used for bioethanol production at the Centre during 2014.
The biofuels produced in Florida will anchor the new production of cellulosic ethanol under the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). INEOS Bio is working with other companies and cities globally to use this technology as a new direction for waste disposal and the production of advanced biofuels and renewable power.
The Centre cost more than $130 million and created more than 400 direct construction, engineering and manufacturing jobs during its development. The project sourced more than 90% of the equipment from U.S. manufacturers, creating or retaining jobs in more than 10 states. The Centre has 65 full-time employees and provides $4 million annually in payroll to the local community.
The Centre will serve as a reference plant for future INEOS Bio facilities and for companies and cities interested in licensing the technology for similar facilities. As a major licensor of chemical process technology in the world, INEOS will leverage its extensive expertise to bring this technology forward as an exciting new alternative for sustainable waste disposal.