DuPont Industrial Biosciences began construction on a $200 million cellulosic ethanol production facility in Nevada, Iowa, with estimates of hiring 60 plant operators, while hiring 150 seasonal employees to handle feedstock.
DuPont said this new facility is expected to generate 30 million gallons annually of cellulosic biofuel produced from corn stover residues, a non-food feedstock that consists of corn stalks and leaves.
This first commercial facility will require a capital investment of about $7 per gallon of annual capacity. “Nearly a decade ago, DuPont set out to develop innovative technology that would result in low capital and low-cost cellulosic ethanol production. We recognized that science-powered innovation was the catalyst to make cellulosic ethanol a commercial reality and to help reduce global dependence on fossil fuels,” James C. Collins, DuPont Industrial Biosciences president said.
“By leveraging DuPont Pioneer corn production expertise and designing an integrated technology platform, we’ve built an affordable and sustainable entry point into this new industry. We’re committed to continued productivity gains to drive costs down even further for the coming generations of plants, ones based on corn stover as well as other feedstocks,” Collins added. “And we didn’t get to this point alone. We’ve built an incredible partnership with the state of Iowa, Iowa State University, entrepreneurial growers and a whole host of partners around the country who share our vision of making renewable fuels a commercial reality.”
“During my previous terms as governor, we were excited to bring ethanol production to the state. After many hard years of work by Iowa growers and technology companies like DuPont, Iowa now leads the country in renewable fuel production,” said Governor Terry Branstad. This site in Nevada is the next critical step in our cellulosic ethanol journey. We look forward to bringing these advanced technologies online, creating local jobs and helping to deliver clean, sustainable energy.” Information on any alternative energy funding or tax incentives was not immediately available.
To supply the corn stover for its plant, DuPont will contract with more than 500 local farmers to gather, store and deliver over 375,000 dry tons of stover per year into the Nevada facility. The stover will be collected from an approximate 30 mile radius around the new facility and harvested off of 190,000 acres, DuPont said.