Construction starts on Panda's Texas plant

By Dave Nilles | September 01, 2006
On the heels of starting construction on its first 100 MMgy manure-fueled ethanol plant in Texas, Panda Ethanol Inc. has announced another.

Construction started on Panda Hereford Ethanol LP in early August, according to Panda spokesman Bill Pentak. A ceremonial groundbreaking has been set for Sept. 14 at the 380-acre site near Hereford, which is located in north Texas southwest of Amarillo.

The company announced plans in late August for a second 100 MMgy in the state, this one located 130 miles farther north in Sherman County.

Debt financing for the Hereford project was completed in late July and Memphis, Tenn.-based Lurgi PSI was on site in early August. Pentak said rough grading is complete for the plant, rail loop and parking area. An administrative office and electrical cables are being installed.

The plant will be powered primarily by 1 billion pounds of manure annually. Pentak didn't name the company constructing the gasifier. The plant will use natural gas as a back-up energy source.

Aventine Renewable Energy will market the plant's ethanol. Panda Ethanol is marketing the distillers grains, which will primarily be sold wet. Carbon dioxide will be captured at the facility, although a marketer has yet to be named. The project is expected to start-up fourth quarter 2007.

The Sherman County project will also use manure as an energy source. The 1,200-acre site is located near Stratford, well north of Amarillo along the border with the Oklahoma Panhandle. Pentak said air permits have been filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and financing is being pursued. He didn't divulge a projected construction timeline.

Panda is also developing 100 MMgy projects in Colorado and Kansas. A second ethanol plant is being developed near Hereford. White Energy Hereford LLC is developing a 100 MMgy plant.

Panda Hereford Ethanol LP
Location: Hereford, Texas
General contractor: Lurgi PSI
Process technology: Lurgi PSI
Capacity: 100 MMgy
Feedstock: corn
Ethanol marketer: Aventine Renewable Energy
Distillers grains marketer: Panda Energy
Carbon dioxide marketer: undeclared
Broke ground: August 2006
Target start-up date: fourth quarter 2007

Posted: 11:56 a.m. CDT Wednesday, September 6, 2006