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Aemetis signs 20-year feedstock supply agreement to produce cellulosic ethanol

US-headed advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals company Aemetis Inc., has announced that its Aemetis Advanced Products Keyes subsidiary signed a 20-year feedstock supply agreement to produce cellulosic ethanol at a former US Army munitions facility located in Riverbank, California, which is near the existing Aemetis biofuels plant in Keyes, California.

The Central Valley of California produces more than 1.6 million tons of orchard waste and nutshells annually from around 1 million acres of almond, pistachio and walnut orchards (photo courtesy Markku Björkman).

The feedstock to be supplied comes from the more than 1.6 million tons of waste orchard wood and nutshells that are generated each year from approximately 1 million acres of almond, walnut, and pistachio orchards in the Central Valley.

According to a statement, Aemetis’ price of the feedstock is approximately US$20 per ton delivered for the first ten years.

As part of Phase One of the Riverbank cellulosic ethanol biorefinery, Aemetis plans to produce more than 10 million (US) gallons (≈ 37.9 million litres) annually to help meet cellulosic ethanol production requirements under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the increasing demand for low carbon biofuels under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

In addition, the low carbon cellulosic ethanol transportation fuel produced at the Riverbank cellulosic ethanol biorefinery will also lower GHG emissions in the state by 80 percent or more compared to gasoline.

The current market price of cellulosic ethanol sold in California is estimated to be more than US$4.50 per gallon, which is approximately US$3.00 more per gallon than conventional ethanol.

The existing Aemetis biorefinery in Keyes, California produces more than 60 million gallons (≈227.2 million litres) of ethanol annually. Aemetis plans to construct multiple phases of cellulosic ethanol production and add more than 40 million gallons (≈ 151.4 million litres) per year of cellulosic ethanol capacity at the Riverbank, California site.

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