Coskata Inc. plans to build a new ethanol plant at the Crossroads of America Industrial Park in Boligee, Alabama. The Illinois-based company has secured a $250 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will seek additional funding for the plant, which will turn wood and plant waste into ethanol. After the rest of the money is raised, the company can outline a construction schedule to begin building.
The Greene County project will create approximately 300 construction jobs and 700 direct and indirect jobs, including operators and engineers along with those that provide the materials to produce the ethanol, such as harvesters and haulers of pulpwood and plant biomass. The facility will generate around 55 million gallons of biofuel each year to help reduce dependence on foreign oil.
According to a release from Coskata, the cellulosic ethanol they plan to make is a “high octane renewable fuel with a superior environmental footprint compared to gasoline”. The company said the Boligee plant will be the “largest planned cellulosic ethanol facility in the country.” Cellulosic ethanol is considered to have advantages over conventional ethanol, which is derived from grains such as corn and wheat or soybeans.
In addition to recruitment by the state and local officials for more than two years, Coskata said Boligee was chosen because of its abundant supply of wood biomass.
“Today’s announcement is very exciting for the state of Alabama and Greene County,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “It has the potential to create hundreds of good quality jobs and economic development in an area of the state where they are sorely needed.”