Senators Announce New York Biofuels Plant Funding

New York State Senators James Seward (R/C/I-Milford) and Thomas Libous (R/I/C-Binghamton) announced a state senate award of $4 million for the creation of the New York Center for Liquid Biofuels at Morrisville State College with a facility based in Cortland County.

Morrisville State College and its research partner, Empire AgriFuel, LLC, will construct an oilseed crushing and “green” biofuel blending facility that will initially be capable of handling up to 200 tons per day, or approximately 2.4 million bushels of soy and or canola per year, and produce 5 million gallons of clean, “green” biodiesel.

“With rising oil and gas costs, biofuels are one of the keys to our energy future,” said Senator Libous. “And smart partnerships between the Senate, our top-notch SUNY schools and private companies will help our region stay at the cutting edge.”

Based on a model developed by Morrisville State College, the project creates regional economic gains at every step of the process — from feedstock growth, to oil seed and biofuel production, to the end user. The total economic impact, both direct and associated, is projected to be more than $47 million, through anticipated increased soybean value, output of the crushing and blending plants, wages, construction and ancillary revenue.

According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York farmers harvested 9 million bushels of soybeans in 2006, and the rate of soybean production in the state has increased approximately 20 percent per year since 2000. Soybeans are extremely well suited for growing in upstate New York, and technological advances have made soy even more viable, as both a main crop and rotator for corn. The project could increase the value of soybeans in New York by 30 cents per bushel.

The grant was designated by Sens. Libous and Seward and will be administered by the SUNY Research Foundation. Sen. Libous is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, and Sen. Seward serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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