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Florida legislation threatening Algenol’s expansion in state

May 2, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Algenol's outdoor algae-to-ethanol photobioreactors in Lee County, FL

Algenol’s outdoor algae-to-ethanol photobioreactors in Lee County, FL

Tim Engstrom reports in Gannett’s news-press.com that a bill to repeal Florida’s Renewable Fuel Standard passed in the current legislative session and sent to Gov. Rick Scott for signing is putting Algenol’s plans for a $400 million expansion in the state at risk, according to Algenol CEO Paul Woods.

Woods sent a letter to Gov. Scott last week saying that signing the bill would make it difficult if not impossible for Algenol to justify building their first commercial facility in Florida, over other states such as Texas. Woods said he and others from companies around the state have spent weeks trying to convince legislators that the effect of the bill repealing the state requirement for 10 percent ethanol in gasoline could put a damper on the growth of the state’s bioenergy sector.

“I can’t plunk down $400 million to expand here and then, in two or three years, have the state take an even more aggressive stance against Algenol,” Woods said. “I have been directed by my board to look elsewhere.”

Algenol employs about 120 people at its headquarters in Bonita Springs, in Lee County, and at its research and development center off of Alico Road. The company was awarded $10 million in local incentives in 2010 to create the research center. Since then, the company has invested about $190 million locally and expected to invest $400 million more in Florida to create a commercial production facility producing 15 to 20 million gallons of ethanol annually from algae.

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