US – Producers of cellulosic ethanol say they can produce more of the fuel this year than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed last November.
Biofuel companies scheduled to start making cellulosic ethanol at four plants this year say the industry is finally ready to increase production numbers, reports Biofuels Inernational.
They warn, however, that progress could be delayed if the EPA chooses to scale back the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to 17 million gallons, from the 1.75 billion level that Congress required in 2007.
Doug Berven, VP of corporate affairs with ethanol producer, Poet, says: “We’re open to reasonable adjustments to cellulosic numbers, but we think right now they’re low. I think they should be a little bit higher.”
Poet and Royal DSM, are together, expected to complete work on a plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa, in June that is expected to produce up to 25 million gallons of fuel. A 30 million gallon per year facility built by DuPont in Nevada, Iowa, and two other facilities, are expected to come online this year.
“We think this is going to be a great year for cellulosic, as long as legislators and regulators don’t stand in our way,” adds Chris Standlee, executive VP for global affairs at Abengoa Energy.
“With the uncertainty of the RFS as it is today, if the EPA sets it as production levels, there is no pull, there is no incentive for further investment,” Berven comments.
“There has to be some kind of assurance that there’s going to be market for our product if we build another plant.”
TheCropSite News Desk