Construction of Five-Acre Algae Farm Begins at Ethanol Plant
by Kris Bevill (Ethanol Producer Magazine) BioProcess Algae LLC and Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. announced Feb. 1 that they have begun constructing a five acre algae production facility in southwest Iowa at the site of Green Plains’ 65 MMgy ethanol plant near Shenandoah. Construction of the algae facility is expected to progress quickly and the facility is slated to begin operating in the third quarter of this year.
…Since first installing its trademarked Grower Harvester bioreactors at the Shenandoah plant in 2009, the project has continually met or exceeded its expectations, with the latest expansion being no exception. The company announced last fall that it planned to construct the five-acre farm in the spring and is now moving ahead as scheduled. But the successful scaling-up process has brought with it unexpected challenges on the demand side.
Last year, Green Plains CEO Todd Becker said that the project was progressing faster than market opportunities were being developed for algae. As a result, the company began participating in market development activities, supplying algae for feed trials and tests for other markets, such as pharmaceutical applications.