Recent Press Releases

Thune Congratulates Broin on Being Selected to Receive up to $80M in Federal Funding

Funding Critical to Cellulosic Ethanol Commercialization

February 28, 2007

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune (R-SD) issued the following statement regarding the Department of Energy's (DOE) selection of Broin Companies of Sioux Falls to receive up to $80 million in federal funding over the next four years. Broin has been selected as one of six biorefinery projects nationwide who will receive a share of $385 million in funding. Broin will receive the highest share of this funding and is expected to produce the largest amount of alternative fuel of the six projects.

"This is excellent news for Broin Companies, South Dakota agriculture producers, and all American consumers who are making the shift toward alternative energy like ethanol," Thune said. "With funding commitments on the federal level, the innovation of industry leaders like Broin Companies, and the strength and reliability of America's farmers, our nation has the resources and wherewithal to meet its own energy needs. And with the growing instability of foreign oil and energy sources, the ability to produce home-grown alternative energy sources has never been more important. As a member os the Senate Agriculture Committee, I also look forward to expanding cellulosic production as part of the 2007 Farm Bill.

"I want to congratulate Broin Companies on this high distinction. I was pleased to have supported their application, and I'm confident they will use this investment to its full potential to help steer America to a stronger, more energy-independent future."

Combined with the industry cost share, more than $1.2 billion will be invested in the six biorefineries selected. When fully operational, the biorefineries are expected to produce more than 130 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. This production will help make cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline.

Negotiations between the selected companies and the DOE will begin immediately to determine final project plans and funding levels. Funding will begin this fiscal year and run through FY 2010. Congress supported this important funding in the 2005 Energy bill, which authorized DOE to solicit and fund proposals for the commercial demonstration of advanced biorefineries that use cellulosic feedstocks to produce ethanol and co-produce bioproducts and electricity.

The Broin Companies plant, after expansion, is expected to produce 125 million gallons of ethanol per year, of which roughly 25 percent will be cellulosic ethanol. For feedstock in the production of cellulosic ethanol, the plant expects to use 842 tons per day of corn fiber, cobs, and stalks.