September 24 (Renewables Now) - NewEnergyBlue said Monday it aims to start construction in roughly six months of a cellulosic ethanol facility in North Dakota.
The refinery will need 280,000 tonnes of wheat straw per year to make 16 million gallons of clean fuel. It will also produce clean lignin pellets without using any fresh water in the process, NewEnergyBlue pointed out.
"We've engaged top engineers to complete the development work. We expect to finalize the USD 170 million [EUR 144.6m] financing and are shooting for steel in the ground by spring 2019," said company president Stephan Rogers.
A fully-owned special purpose company, New Energy Spirit Biomass Refinery LLC, will own and run the plant in Spiritwood Energy Park near Jamestown. It will generate revenues by selling ethanol in California, where companies can get up to USD 200 per tonne of carbon emissions saved under the Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS).
The company said the carbon footprint of its cellulosic ethanol can go 100% to 130% below gasoline's baseline.
NewEnergyBlue’s CEO, Thomas Corle, envisions a series of 32-million-gallon-per-year refineries throughout the grain belts of the US and Canada, enjoying escalating support from capital markets.
"California alone could easily absorb production from 70 of our refineries to reach their goal. Other states and Canada are following California's successful low-carbon model," Corle said.