Clewiston, Florida – U.S. Sugar Corp. has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Coskata Inc. of Illinois to explore building a 100 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol facility in Florida. The facility, which would be the world’s largest second-generation ethanol facility, would convert leftover sugar cane material into ethanol.
U.S. Sugar plans to collect cane leaves from the field, rather than burn them, and utilize excess bagasse from the mill. The Coskata technology, which is able to convert almost any renewable material, is expected to produce fuel ethanol with manufacturing costs of around US$1 per gallon. As the State of Florida plans to take some of the U.S. Sugar lands out of production for the Everglades restoration project, the Coskata technology is flexible enough to also use fast-growing energy crops and waste materials for fuel.
As part of the agreement, U.S. Sugar will submit an application to the Florida Energy Office for a financial match to its contribution for early engineering on the project, and plans to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to secure some of the loan guarantee monies that have been set aside specifically for the production of non-food-based biofuels.