Senator Michael F. Nozzolio today announced that Empire Biofuels LLC, an ethanol refining company, plans to invest $87 million to build a 50 million gallon per year corn-to-ethanol refinery at the old Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, New York. The project is expected to create 60 new jobs in the emerging clean energy industry.
Senator Michael Nozzolio said, “I am proud to have worked with Governor Pataki and Empire Biofuels Chairman Edward Primrose to make this project a reality and create jobs at the Seneca Army Depot,” said Senator Nozzolio. “The new Ethanol Production facility is important to the strengthening of our regional economy and will enable New York State to grow and continue to lead the nation in deploying alternative fuel technologies. I would also like to thank Governor Pataki for his continued commitment to the revitalization of the Seneca Army Depot and support for my efforts to transform the Army Depot into an economic engine for Seneca County and the Finger Lakes region.”
Empire Biofuels is eligible to receive a renewable fuel production tax credit, which will provide a tax savings for each gallon of renewable fuel produced, up to $2.5 million annually. Support for the project was also made available by Senator Nozzolio securing $1.5 million (over 3 years) in economic development funding to support the Project.
Empire Biofuels LLC was formed in April 2002. The company’s goal is to build and operate an ethanol plant in upstate New York. Empire Biofuels intends to build a dry mill 50 million gallon per year (mmgy) ethanol facility in upstate New York. A dry mill plant grinds corn and, through the addition of other inputs, processes corn into ethanol, distiller grains, and carbon dioxide. The company will market all three products. Such a facility will use approximately 18.7 million bushels of corn per year and will produce 50 mmgy of ethanol, 168,000 tons per year of dried distillers grain (DDG) and 121,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide (CO2). Empire Biofuels LLC is the third major ethanol plant being developed in New York State, with additional facilities in the planning stages.
Ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel that is combined with unleaded gasoline to produce ethanol-blended fuel, which has higher octane then gasoline alone. There are approximately 200,000 flexible-fuel vehicles registered in New York State that can run on gasoline or ethanol (E85), and that number is expected to increase dramatically as automakers boost production of these type vehicles.
In consideration of its commitment to New York State, Empire Biofuels LLC is eligible to apply for designation as a Regionally Significant Project as an agribusiness. If granted, the company would receive full Empire Zone benefits. Additionally, Empire Biofuels is eligible for $1 million in New York State Multi-Modal Transportation funding, which would support upgrades to Seneca County rail lines, including construction of a new track section to serve Empire Biofuels, as wells as road construction to connect Route 96 and Route 96A in Seneca County. The company is also eligible for $450,000 in Industrial Access Program funding to improve transportation access to the new facility.