Sunoco ethanol plant receives grant for barley malting facility

By Sunoco | December 21, 2015

The Sunoco Fulton Ethanol manufacturing facility in Volney, New York, has received a Central New York Regional Economic Development Grant in the amount of $700,000 as part of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo's $1.5 Billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative announced Dec. 10. The REDC grant, strongly supported by State Senator Patty Ritchie of the 48th Senate District and State Assemblyman Will Barclay of Assembly District 120, will be used to help fund a new $9.1 million barley malting facility that will be integral to the growth of the state's craft beer industry.

The malting facility will be built within the confines of the Sunoco Ethanol Plant, and is part of the rejuvenation of the former Miller Brewing Company site that closed in 1994. The malting facility, slated to begin construction in the next 90 days, will be able to produce approximately 2,000 total tons of high-quality malt annually—establishing it as the largest malting facility in the eastern United States. The facility will involve 150 to 200 contractors during construction, and its operations will support New York State barley farmers and create five to eight full-time jobs at the plant.

"This REDC grant helps make the construction of our malting facility a reality and expands its potential," said Tim Hardy, general manager of Sunoco Ethanol. "We are grateful for this grant, for the unflagging support of our local legislators, and for the Central New York economic development team, whose tireless advocacy for economic development in the region is responsible for this and other success stories."

The NYS Farm Brewery Law requires those holding a farm brewery license to purchase 60 percentof their ingredients for beer from suppliers within New York State in 2018, with a 90 percent requirement by 2024. New York's current malting capacity is unable to meet the growing demand of New York farm and craft breweries. It's anticipated that the new malting facility will purchase malting barley grown on about 3,000 acres in New York. The malt produced will help fulfill demand from New York State's rapidly expanding roster of farm and craft breweries.

"Our state's craft beer industry is flourishing, and it's projects like this new barley malting facility that capitalize on its potential for even further growth," said State Senator Patty Ritchie, who represents Volney and coauthored the 2012 Farm Brewery Law to spur growth of the state's brewing economy. Senator Ritchie continued, "I'm pleased funds were awarded to make this project possible, and look forward to it creating much-needed jobs here in Central New York and boosting the farming industry that is so important to our region."

Assemblyman Barclay said Fulton Ethanol has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment by investing in their facility, and this $9 million project shows that the Farm Brewery Law is having an impact. "We have seen the work Sunoco Ethanol has done with the plant, and I am confident they will create a production facility that will grow the state's brewing industries and our local community while expanding their own business and creating jobs."

The REDC grant, part of the $500 million committed to Central New York as one of the winners in the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, arrives as engineering for the project is underway. Elements of the plan include a truck receiving and loading center, raw grain storage and cleaning components, malting equipment, and malt bagging and storage capacity. Startup is targeted for fall 2016, with operations reaching full malting capacity in 2017.