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Energy Beets: Who Will Leap First?

Submitted by on April 16, 2012 – 6:40 pmNo Comment

by Holly Jessen (Ethanol Producer Magazine)  North American sugar-to-ethanol strategy differs from Brazil’s, Europe’s

…North Dakota-based Green Vision Group is resolutely moving forward with a plan to build multiple 20 MMgy dedicated energy beet plants in the state.

…More than 3,000 miles due east, Canadian company Atlantec BioEnergy Corp. is building a 79,000 gallon a year energy beet demonstration plant in Cornwall, Prince Edward Island. The plant is expected to begin production of ethanol in July, says Ron Coles, vice president of agricultural resources and public relations for the company.

…In Europe, some food-grade sugar producers have added ethanol production to their sugar beet processing plants, much like the Brazil sugarcane model, (Carl Christian) Radinger (owner of Putsch Group) says. He and his colleagues at Putsch, manufacturer of beet processing equipment, couldn’t think of a single, dedicated, energy beet ethanol plant in Europe.

…This spring Iowa-based Energae LP signed a purchase agreement for the idled Alchem ethanol plant in Grafton, N.D., and said it would upgrade the plant for dedicated sugar beet-to-ethanol production, possibly by fall. The energy investment group was working to get sugar beet producers on board and was confident it could secure enough feedstock for the 10 MMgy plant, said Jerry Krause, general partner in Energae, in early March. He didn’t discount energy beets altogether but pointed out that sugar beets were already an established crop in that area.

…To produce table sugar, producers are looking for sucrose, sucrose and more sucrose. Energy beets, on the other hand, contain multiple sugars, meaning sucrose as well as glucose, fructose and other minor sugars, called invert sugars … READ MORE and MORE (Grand Forks Herald)


Excerpt from the Grand Forks Herald:  The former Alchem ethanol plant in Grafton, N.D., is being dismantled, piece by piece, more than five years after it closed and about a year after a plan briefly surfaced about its possible reopening.

“They’re scrapping the building out,” Grafton City Administrator Nick Ziegelmann said Wednesday.

He said crews have been removing equipment from the complex for several weeks and parts of the building already have been dismantled….

Then in March 2012, Northeast Energy reached an agreement in principle to sell the facility to Energae LP, an investor group based in Clear Lake, Iowa. At that time, Energae officials announced plans at the time to convert the facility to produce ethanol from sugar beets and wheat.

The company had planned to contract directly with growers for 13,000 to 14,000 acres of sugar beets and begin producing ethanol as early as 2012 or 2013.

But the project never got off the ground.   READ MORE

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