SunOpta Advances on Cellulosic Ethanol Activities

Toronto, Canada [] The SunOpta Pretreatment System is based on proprietary and patented technologies and, according to SunOpta BioProcess Group, is the only industrially proven continuous system in the world for Biomass Pretreatment. SunOpta announces that the detailed engineering and equipment supply for the wheat straw to ethanol plant in Babilafuente (Salamanca), Spain, is proceeding on schedule. This facility, which represents the first commercial cellulosic ethanol production plant in the world, is being supplied to Abener Energia S.A. of Seville, Spain, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abengoa S.A., said to be the largest ethanol producer in Europe and the second largest in the world. This facility, which is scheduled to be operational in the fall of 2006, is located adjacent to an existing cereal grain to ethanol plant operated by Abengoa. Within the last two weeks SunOpta shipped the Pretreatment System for the Abengoa Bioenergy Research and Development pilot plant to be built at the Abengoa corn starch to ethanol plant located at York, Nebraska. This pilot plant is funded by the US Department of Energy and will prove new advances in Biomass Conversion technologies utilizing the Pretreatment System from SunOpta Inc.