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Algenol ends plans to expand in Florida

June 12, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

algenolFort Myers, Florida ABC television station WZVN-HD reports that Algenol is scrapping plans to build a nearly $500-million algae-to-ethanol production plant in Florida, in the aftermath of Governor Rick Scott signing a bill repealing a law that requires gasoline sold in Florida to contain 10-percent ethanol.

Algenol CEO Paul Woods had pioneered the construction of a $200-million state-of-the-art facility creating ethanol from algae. “I want to build the 85 pumps in Florida and have them be 50 to 75-cents per gallon cheaper than regular gas,” Woods had said, adding that he had wanted to create 2,000 more jobs by building a commercial plant. However now, he says, the jobs won’t be coming to Lee County or anywhere in the state of Florida.

Lee County Commissioner Tammy Hall fears the governor’s decision could send the wrong message. “These are some of the outcomes that will affect other ethanol-type businesses and renewable energy businesses looking at Florida,” she said.

The governor’s office defending it’s move saying, “While we continue to support efforts that will bring energy related innovation and jobs to Florida, the governor does not support state imposed mandates on specific industries.”

State Representative Ray Rodrigues stressed the internal conflict of it all saying, “I believe science has shown that ethanol created from algae is the most promising of all ethanol products.”

According to Woods, his company is now looking at building a new site in several other states including Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

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