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Alliance BioEnergy Plus makes bid to buy Ineos Florida ethanol plant

Alliance BioEnergy Plus has submitted an offer to purchase an over 145 acre ethanol plant previously owned by Ineos New Planet Bioenergy in Florida.

If successful, Alliance will begin to retrofit the front end of the facility, located in Vero Beach, immediately with its patented CTS process and will quickly be converting local yard waste into cellulosic ethanol through an option agreement with the county.

Ineos Bio broke ground on the plant in February 2011 and completed the $130 million (€123m) facility in 2012.

Last December, Ineos Bio put its ethanol business – including the 8 million gpy Vero Beach demonstration site – up for sale.

In a statement, INEOS Bio said “the economic drivers for the development of the technology (gasification fermentation) no longer aligned with the company's strategic objectives”. 

Though details surrounding the specific offer are covered by non-disclosure agreements, Alliance CEO Daniel de Liege has been encouraged by the response and support he has received from authorities and the community.

"County officials have been incredibly supportive of our effort to acquire the facility and understand the tremendous benefits we bring with keeping the facility open and saving dozens of jobs," said De Liege.

The offer signals a critical, yet exciting next step in the evolution of the patented CTS process, according to De Liege.

"This is primetime for us. Our engineers and scientists have spent the better part of the last decade working to perfect our technology and we have arrived at a point where we are ready to start putting it to work commercially.

“A complete, high-tech facility already built provides Alliance with an opportunity to begin utilising the CTS technology to produce high quantities of low-cost cellulosic ethanol quickly and at a fraction of the cost compared to building from the ground up or other processes," De Liege added.

If successful and up and running at capacity sometime in early 2018, the facility will produce 8 million gallons a year of cellulosic ethanol valued at $33 million (€31.2m) a year with a pre-tax profit of more than $24 million a year.

Alliance has begun the due diligence phase of the process and will assess the viability of the land, feedstock, permits, years of testing and activity at the site, as well as local, state and federal environmental filings and regulations.