Range Fuels Signs Agreement with U.S. DOE, Breaks Ground on Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

Range Fuels, Inc. announced yesterday that it has signed a $76 million Technology Investment Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which will allow the company to build and operate the nation’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol processing facility.

Six companies have been chosen to construct the cellulosic plants. Yesterday, Range Fuels was the first of the companies to break ground on the first phase of its plant. The company will develop five 20-million-gallon-per-year phases, ultimately reaching a production capacity of 100 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.

Range Fuels selected Georgia for its first plant based upon the state’s robust wood products industry supported by Georgia’s vast sustainable and renewable forest lands. According to the company, the state’s environmental sensitivity and responsible stewardship of its forest lands have created resources that allow Georgia to support up to two billion gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol production through the application of Range Fuels’ technology.

The Soperton Plant will use Range Fuels’ proprietary thermo-chemical conversion technology to transform biomass materials into ethanol. Range Fuels has secured the needed State and Federal construction permits for the Plant. Construction of the first phase of the plant is expected to be complete in 2008.