INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — INEOS Bio’s first commercial project in the United States has secured key permits to build its waste to bioenergy facility in Indian River County, and is now on track to begin construction before the end of the year.
The INEOS Bio joint venture has obtained its final air permit and environmental resource permit from the State of Florida, its wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The BioEnergy Center will be developed entirely within the existing footprint of a former agricultural processing facility once used by OceanSpray on Oslo Road near the county’s landfill.
The Department of Energy Finding and Environmental Assessment established that the BioEnergy Center would have no adverse impacts with respect to sound, traffic, air quality, water quality or to threatened or endangered species. The assessment also found that no changes to land use, planning or zoning were necessary and will not result in any significant change to the existing visual quality of the site and surrounding area.
As part of the assessment, the Department of Energy requested input from various entities including Federal, state, local agencies, elected officials, tribal interests, businesses, organizations and members of the general public.
“We are very pleased that the State of Florida, the Army Corps and the DOE have issued these permits and findings for our project,” said David King, President of the INEOS Bio JV. “We have spent considerable effort to design a state of the art facility to not only ensure compliance but also to minimize our impact on the environment.”
The BioEnergy Center will generate eight million gallons of third-generation bioethanol each year from renewable biomass including yard, wood, agricultural and vegetative wastes.
The facility is also expected to generate six megawatts of renewable electricity. The facility will be the first to use INEOS Bio’s advanced BioEnergy technology, the world’s leading feedstock flexible technology for advanced biofuels. The technology breaks the link between food crops and ethanol production.
At the heart of the INEOS Bio technology is a patented anaerobic fermentation step, through which naturally occurring bacteria convert gases derived directly from biomass into bioethanol.
Unlike other technologies that rely on one primary source of feedstock, the INEOS Bio process is expected to produce bioenergy from numerous feedstocks, including forestry and agricultural waste, sustainable energy crops, construction waste and municipal solid waste, according to officials. That flexibility would allow facilities to be built anywhere that a renewable biomass feedstock is available, providing jobs and locally sourced energy for urban and rural communities.
The facility is expected to begin production in 2012.