Clewiston, FL — November 17, 2008 — U.S. Sugar Corp. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Coskata, Inc. of Warrenville, IL to explore building a 100 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol facility in Clewiston, Florida. The facility would be the world’s largest second generation ethanol facility. It would convert left-over sugar cane material into ethanol and would help Florida meet its aggressive second generation ethanol mandate set by Governor Charlie Crist.
“We are very excited to be formally negotiating with Coskata to deploy their industry leading conversion technology,” said U.S. Sugar’s Sr. Vice President of Public Affairs Robert Coker. “We see this technology as a perfect complement to our existing sugar mill, not to mention a win for the environment, the farming community and for our employees.”
The non-food based ethanol could reduce greenhouse gasses by as much as 96% versus conventional gasoline. U.S. Sugar plans to collect cane leaves from the field versus burning them, as well as utilize excess bagasse from the mill. The Coskata technology, which is able to convert almost any renewable material, is expected to produce fuel ethanol with manufacturing costs of around $1 per gallon. As the State of Florida takes some of the U.S. Sugar lands out of production for the Everglades restoration project, the Coskata technology is flexible enough to also use fast growing energy crops and waste materials to make the environmentally superior fuel.
As part of the agreement, U.S. Sugar will be submitting an application to the Florida Energy Office for a financial match to their contribution for early engineering on this project. In addition, U.S. Sugar plans to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to secure some of the loan guarantee monies that have been set aside specifically for the production of non-food based biofuels.
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