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Planned Texas ethanol plant will draw energy from manure

Agriculture.com Staff 11/02/2006 @ 8:44am

Panda Ethanol Inc. this week announced that it intends to build a 100 million gallon-per-year ethanol plant near the city of Muleshoe in Bailey County, Texas.

When finished, the facility will annually refine approximately 38 million bushels of corn into a clean-burning, renewable fuel for the nation's transportation needs. The ethanol produced by the plant will displace approximately 2.6 million barrels of imported oil a year.

The Muleshoe facility will generate the steam used in the ethanol manufacturing process by gasifying more than 1 billion pounds of cattle manure a year. Once complete, it will be one of the most fuel efficient ethanol refineries in the nation and equal in size to Panda's Hereford facility, currently under construction, which will be the largest biomass-fueled ethanol plant in the United States.

The Muleshoe facility is the sixth 100 million gallon ethanol project announced by Panda, and the fourth to be powered by cattle manure. The company has received air permits for three of its six announced ethanol projects.

"This plant will significantly expand our ethanol production portfolio, strengthen the economy of the Texas Panhandle and enhance our nation's energy independence," says Panda Ethanol CEO Todd Carter. "We are excited by the community's support for this project and look forward to working with state and local officials in seeing it through to completion."

Bailey County, Texas Judge Sherri Harrison says Panda representatives have been actively involved in the community since the beginning of the site selection process. "They have proven to be good neighbors in working with the Muleshoe community to bring ethanol production to Bailey County. This is a great opportunity for Bailey County, and it has been exciting to work with Panda in locating the project here," she says.

"This facility will have a tremendous economic development impact on Muleshoe and Bailey County by providing many jobs in several areas and by nearly doubling our tax base," adds Janet Claborn, director of economic development for the Muleshoe Economic Development Corporation. "This is 'value-added' for our agricultural community and a natural fit for our dairies and feed yards."

Panda's ethanol refinery will be located on a 305-acre site eight miles northwest of Muleshoe, Texas. Construction will take approximately 18 months. The completion date is dependent upon financing, regulatory approvals and other conditions. Panda intends to submit its request for an air permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality this week.

Panda Ethanol Inc. this week announced that it intends to build a 100 million gallon-per-year ethanol plant near the city of Muleshoe in Bailey County, Texas.

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