Moran: Announcement in Southwest Kansas Moves Country toward Energy Independence
Joins Officials to Announce Hugoton as Site of First U.S.-Based Cellulosic Ethanol Plant
HUGOTON - Congressman Jerry Moran today joined executives from Abengoa Bioenergy in formally announcing the selection of Hugoton as the site of the first industrial-sized cellulosic ethanol plant to be built in the United States. The $400 million ethanol production plant will include a 30-million-gallon cellulosic ethanol plant and an 85-million-gallon traditional ethanol plant.
"This is great news for Hugoton, Stevens County, southwest Kansas and our entire state," Moran said. "The opportunity to lead our country in the production of cellulosic ethanol is something all Kansans can be proud of. I congratulate the community and join them in welcoming Abengoa to southwest Kansas."
Cellulosic ethanol is an alternative fuel made from a wide variety of non-starch based plant materials. These materials include perennial grasses and annual crop residues, such as corn stover, sorghum stover and wheat straw. Abengoa's Kansas plant was one of six projects selected nationwide by the Department of Energy to create and develop the cellulosic ethanol industry. The facility in Hugoton is expected to bring more than 100 jobs to the area.
"We are very excited about the cellulosic ethanol plant being built here," Mayor Jack Rowden said. "Abengoa has had a warm welcome from the residents, farmers and land owners in the area. This will be a big boost for the local economy in the near future and for a long time to come."
"A primary corporate goal for Abengoa in the last decade has been to establish a leadership position in biofuels technology and production capacity," Javier Salgado, CEO of Abengoa Bioenergy, said. "This new facility allows us to reach a major technology milestone in our program."
"Until recently, producing ethanol from biomass feedstock, instead of corn and other grains, was costly and impractical," Gerson Santos, Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies Corporate Director, said. "In the last few years, however, Abengoa scientists have made breakthroughs in biotechnology and introduced innovative processes to manufacturing operations. By using a variety of local biomass crops and crop residue, cellulosic ethanol can be produced in most regions of the country - making the ethanol production from biomass products even more practical."