Attis to buy New York ethanol plant, collaborate with Novozymes

By Erin Voegele | January 21, 2019

Attis Industries Inc. has announced plans to purchase a New York-based ethanol plant. The company also recently announced a collaboration with Novozymes to provide biotechnology for ethanol production at its biorefineries.

On Jan. 18, Sunoco LP announced the execution of a definitive asset purchase agreement with Attis for the sale of its Fulton, New York-based ethanol plant and grain malting operation for $20 million. As part of the transaction, Sunoco said it will enter into a 10-year ethanol offtake agreement in Attis. In a statement, Sunoco said the transaction is subject to regulatory clearances and customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

Documents filed by Attis with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 18 indicate the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Attis Ethanol Fulton LLC entered into the asset purchase agreement with Sunoco on Jan. 16. A message from Ethanol Producer Magazine seeking additional information on Attis’ future plans for the facility was not immediately returned.

The Ethanol Producer Magazine online plant map currently lists the annual production capacity of the Fulton ethanol plant as 85 MMgy and notes the facility is currently operational. Information posted to Sunoco’s website indicates the plant site was originally home to a Miller Brewing Plant, which sat vacant from 1994 through 2007, when it was repurposed into an ethanol plant. In 2009, the ethanol plant’s then owners filed for bankruptcy and the facility was sold for $8.5 million to Sunoco. Sunoco then invested more than $20 million in the facility to improve its processes and technologies. The facility returned to production in June 2010.

Attis also recently announced a collaboration with Novozymes. On Jan. 16, the same day the asset purchase agreement with Sunoco was signed, the company said Novozymes has committed to supplying the enzymes required by Attis to convert its pulp into sugar at all of its planned biorefineries. In a press release announcing the agreement, Attis said “Novozymes has a broad portfolio of biotechnology to support commercial cellulosic biofuels production, and the ability to remap up production as needed in an effort to support Attis’ ambitious growth plans.”

Information released by Attis notes the company has successfully converted pulp extracted from its patented biomass processing into high yields of sugar using Novozymes’ proprietary enzyme cocktails and said these successful results have validated the planned business model at Attis’ biorefineries. The partnership is expected to focus on improving value, yields and process efficiencies. Attis also noted that the sugars produced using Novozymes’ proprietary enzymes will be used to manufacture cellulosic ethanol.