Aemetis signs lease for cellulosic ethanol plant site

By Aemetis Inc. | October 18, 2017

Aemetis Inc. announced Oct. 18 that its Aemetis Advanced Products Keyes subsidiary signed a 55 year lease at a former U.S. Army munitions facility located in Riverbank, California, that is near the existing Aemetis biofuels plant in Keyes, California.  The long-term lease provides for the construction of a cellulosic ethanol biorefinery using patented and proprietary process technologies developed by Aemetis, Lanzatech, and InEnTec to convert waste orchard wood and nutshells into low carbon cellulosic ethanol.  The project could generate more than 1,900 direct and indirect jobs, and will lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Central Valley by significantly reducing the current practice of openly burning waste orchard wood.  In addition, the low carbon cellulosic ethanol transportation fuel produced at this site will also lower GHG emissions in the state as it can run up to 80 percent cleaner than conventional gasoline.

The Central Valley of California produces more than 1.6 million tons of waste orchard wood and nutshells each year from approximately 1 million acres of almond, walnut, and pistachio orchards.  As part of Phase 1, Aemetis plans to produce more than 10 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually to help meet cellulosic ethanol production requirements under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and the increasing demand for low carbon biofuels under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The current market price of cellulosic ethanol sold in California is estimated to be more than $4.50 per gallon, which is approximately $3.00 more per gallon than conventional ethanol.

The existing Aemetis biorefinery in Keyes, California, produces more than 60 million gallons of ethanol annually. Aemetis plans to construct multiple phases of cellulosic ethanol production and add more than 40 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol capacity at the Riverbank, California, site.