Syngenta, Bonanza BioEnergy announce commercial agreement

By Syngenta Corp. | November 28, 2012

Syngenta Corp. in North America announces it has signed a commercial agreement with a Kansas ethanol plant to use grain featuring Enogen trait technology in 2013. Bonanza BioEnergy of Garden City will use the revolutionary technology that allows corn to express a robust form of alpha amylase enzyme, the primary enzyme used in dry grind ethanol production to convert starch to sugars.

By delivering alpha amylase enzyme in the grain, Enogen trait technology eliminates the need to utilize liquid alpha amylase enzyme in dry grind ethanol production. Additionally, the robust alpha amylase enzyme found in Enogen grain can help an ethanol plant drastically reduce the slurry viscosity of its corn mash and realize dramatic improvements in ethanol production while reducing energy, gas and water usage.

“Enogen trait technology is available at a critical time for the ethanol industry as margins are tightening,” said David Witherspoon, head of renewable fuels for Syngenta. “By working across broad ranges of temperature and pH levels, Enogen corn creates flexibility for ethanol plants that helps them capture increased levels of throughput or cost savings based on market conditions.”

Bonanza BioEnergy, a member of Conestoga Energy Partners LLC, completed a successful three-month trial of Enogen grain in July of this year. The positive results from that trial led the ethanol plant to sign a commercial agreement to use the technology in ethanol production next year.

“We were very pleased with the enhanced efficiency Enogen grain demonstrated at our Bonanza facility during the trial and we’re confident that we can continue to see added value from the technology in the long run,” said Tom Willis, CEO of Conestoga Energy Partners. “Working with Syngenta as a partner has been a great experience and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with them.”

The ethanol plant is currently working to source Enogen grain from local growers in the community. Growers under contract will begin planting Enogen corn seed in the spring and will deliver their Enogen grain to the ethanol plant following harvest next fall.

Enogen grain production contracts require that growers follow specific, yet simple stewardship protocols for the production, harvest and storage of Enogen corn. In return, growers are paid a premium on top of market prices for each bushel of Enogen grain delivered to the ethanol plant per the contract terms. Enogen traited corn hybrids are available with preferred genetics and trait packages from Syngenta and numerous trials have demonstrated that Enogen traited hybrids show no yield lag.

“Enogen corn creates a true win-win situation for ethanol plants and their local communities,” said David Witherspoon, head of renewable fuels for Syngenta. “Not only do ethanol plants have the chance to enhance the profitability of their business, they get to invest in their community by working directly with local farmers.”