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New life for Virginia winter barley to ethanol project

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http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/10949/vireol-bio-energy-llc-to-open-virginia-plant

 

Vireol Bio-Energy LLC to open Virginia plant

After getting approval in March for a $250,000 grant from Hopewell’s City Council, Vireol Bio-Energy LLC announced it is opening its multi-feedstock ethanol plant, which will be the biggest ethanol plant on the East Coast.

The plant is capable of producing 63 million gallons of ethanol annually and will create 70 direct jobs and 3,000 additional jobs within Virginia’s agricultural industry...

 

...The plant, originally named Appomattox Bio Energy, was built by Osage Bio Energy. The facility was mechanically complete in August 2010 but never reached full production. Vireol purchased the barley-to-ethanol plant last year. The company originally planned dismantled and ship the facility to the U.K., but decided to take advantage of the more focused legislative environment and more mature U.S. market.

 

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Though I'm glad to see this plant staying put, and that this technology/feedstock will be pursued, hopefully with wide-scale replication across the whole south and southeast part of the country...  Part of me wonders if the "we're moving the plant to England" bit was sort of like the NFL team owner threatening to move the team, to get the city to finance the construction of a new stadium!   They did manage to get some cash out of the local city council, and some additional incentives to stay.

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Hopewell is not far from where I spent my childhood. I hope this plant works this time and gives some of my old friends a place to market another product. Since SE Virginia has an E10 mandate for air quality, it will save on transportation also.

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one of the selling points to this plant, is that it allows double cropping.  The barley can be harvested several weeks sooner than wheat, allowing soybeans to be planted after it with hardly any noticeable yield drop over mono-crop beans.  It also is important as having fields left idle over the winter/spring leads to increased nutrient runoff, which is causing all sorts of problems with algae blooms in Chesapeake Bay.  This will be solving all sorts of problems, which is why to me it is a no brainer... if they can just prove the technology.

 

1.  Ethanol produced much closer to major markets

2.  Ethanol produced from non-corn feedstock

3.  Feedstock grown out of traditional crop rotation (not replacing any food crops for you food vs fuel people)

4.  Holding nutrients in soil over winter to improve surface water quality

5.  Increased income for farmers in a region where land values are skyrocketing

6.  Barley straw for biomass may be an added bonus for farmers in the region.

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Anywhere east of Lake Erie and the Appalachians is immensely good news, in my opinion. We really need to get second gen ethanol going on the eastern seaboard to prevent a spike in ethanol prices like what we saw. It just doesn't jive for me that the biggest demanding region of the United States for ethanol is a region with little, if any, ethanol production!

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http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/10991/scoular-vireol-announce-exclusive-partnership-at-virginia-plant

 

The Scoular Co. and Vireol Bio-Industries LLC are pleased to announce their exclusive partnership at the revitalized ethanol plant in Hopewell, Va. Scoular will procure all the corn, operate the grain facility, and market the distillers grain. The ethanol portion of the facility will be operated by Vireol.

 

Vireol purchased the ethanol plant in January 2013 and completed significant renovations. Corn grinding at the 63 MMgy plant is scheduled to begin in mid-April. Once the plant is operating at full capacity, Vireol anticipates using 22 million bushels of corn annually. “We are very pleased to put down roots here in Hopewell,” said Peter McGenity, CEO of Vireol. “The revitalization of the plant, partnership with Scoular, and dedication of the 70 local employees will contribute to our long-term success.”

 

Scoular has been operating the grain facility portion of the Hopewell plant since August 2013 and is already buying corn for the ethanol operation. The facility is capable of unloading 75-car unit trains on the Norfolk Southern Railway. “The plant will be a consistent, competitive source of demand for corn, creating a great opportunity for Virginia farmers as well as shippers of corn on the Norfolk Southern Railway,” stated Doug Grennan, Senior Group Manager at Scoular...

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So this is NOT going to be winter barley, so not second generation.  They will be brining in 75 car unit trains of corn from the midwest.

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They will be brining in 75 car unit trains of corn from the midwest

Lots of poultry and some pork to eat the distillers grain in VA and MD plus it's close to where the ships load for export. Maybe a few dairies to eat wet distillers also.Don't know if any of you pay attention to this, but the record corn yield of 454 bushels per acre was made at Curles Neck farm this year which is right across the river from Hopewell.

Edited by cessna

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This region is FILLED with large hog and poultry confinements, as well as large dairy operations...  finding ready purchasers of wed and dried distillers grains will be no problem.

 

With the shortage of rail tanker cars (due to fracking and tar sands crude), the idea of shipping the corn to the east to convert to ethanol isn't that bad of an idea.

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http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/11098/biggest-ethanol-plant-on-east-coast-comes-to-life

 

Without a grand opening or bravado, the Vireol Bio-Energy LLC plant in Hopewell, Va., officially began operations after sitting idle since 2010.

“This has been an ongoing project,” explained Mark Haley, city manager of Hopewell. Vireol approached the town, regarding the plant, and let them know they were exploring the possibilities of dismantling the plant or keeping the facility in the U.S. In the end, the company decided to stay in the states. “We’re very happy that’s the way the business decision worked out for them.”

Originally named Appomattox Bio Energy, the plant was mechanically completed in 2010, but never reached full production and was sold to Vireol in March 2013. The original intent was to dismantle the plant and ship the pieces to the U.K. The U.K. plan was scrapped after project leaders determined it was more economical to keep the plant at its current location. “It was basically a stranded asset after the previous owners walked away and left the city with broken promises and unpaid taxes,” Haley said. “It’s a brand new plant. It was kind of a shock to the city that an investment of that size was made and left idle.”...

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