Ethanol maker gets another $60M

PONTOTOC – Construction should begin later this year on a $100 million ethanol plant in Pontotoc after the company behind the project received another round of funding.
Montreal-based Enerkem Corp. said Wednesday that fuel refiner giant Valero Energy joined a list of investors, including Waste Management, to pump another $60 million into its waste-to-ethanol project.
Enerkem’s Pontotoc plant, which will be built near the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority landfill, will initially produce about 10 million gallons of ethanol a year.
In January, the company announced it had secured an $80 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In December 2009, Enerkem received $50 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Marie-Helene Labrie, the company’s vice president of government affairs and communications, said earlier this year that construction would take about 18 months, with production expected to begin in 2013.
“We are making good progress on our Pontotoc biofuels project,” she said in an email Wednesday. “Our project team is on site undertaking the pre-construction work needed and our project office in Pontotoc is set up. The state permitting process is ongoing. We are excited to start the construction later this year, though a firm date has not yet been confirmed for the groundbreaking ceremony.”
Enerkem has said more than 70 jobs will be created at the Pontotoc plant, its first in the U.S. Last August, the company began building a similar solid waste-to-ethanol plant in Edmonton, Alberta.
Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@journalinc.com.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal