LONGMONT, CO -- Sundrop Fuels Inc. has selected Rapides Parish, LA, as the site of its first gasification plant to produce gasoline from forest waste.
The company is purchasing about 1,200 acres of land near Alexandria to develop the advanced fuels plant at an estimated cost of $450 million to $500 million. The plant will be designed to convert forest waste combined with hydrogen from natural gas to produce up to 50 million gallons annually as what Sundrop Fuels bills as "the world's first ready-to-use, renewable 'green gasoline.'
Partial financing of the plant would come from the sale of tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds. Louisiana is providing Sundrop Fuels wiith performance-based incentives for the facility. It is expected to employ about 150 people, including 130 in manufacturiing and 20 in research and development, according to the company.
Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said the project will have a ripple effect on boosting the local economy. "I’m proud to announce that Sundrop Fuels will invest $450 million in a new biofuels refinery that will take wood waste from the forests in Central Louisiana and turn that biomass into gasoline. The project will result in a total of more than 1,300 new jobs in the Central Louisiana Region."
Sundrop Fuels said its drop-in advanced biofuel is designed to cost as much or less than petroleum-based transportation fuels. The company's gasification process will convert cellulosic feedstock into synthesis gas for use in combustion engines via the nation’s existing fuels distribution infrastructure.
By 2020, Sundrop Fuels said it expects to produce more than 1 billion gallons of fuel annually through its process, meeting nearly 10 percent of the federal government’s stated goal for fuels refined from cellulosic material and other alternatives to crude oil.
Sundrop Fuel's announcement to build a wood biofuel plant came almost simultaneous to a decision by the federal government to shut down and auction off the assets of Range Fuels wood to ethanol plant in Soperton, GA. More than $500 million in loans and venture capital funds. headed up by Sun Microsystems Kholsa Vinod, were expended in that failed operation.
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