January 12, 2011
Abengoa Bioenergy, a worldwide leader in advance biofuels technology and production, formally announced the restart of its Portales New Mexico bioethanol plant, which is located in the Portales Industrial Park, is New Mexico’s only commercial-scale bioethanol plant, and is designed to produce up to 30 million gallons per year of fuel ethanol, produced primarily from sorghum grown on the High Plains of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.
Javier Salgado, President and CEO of Abengoa Bioenergy, said that the Portales plant became viable again due to more favorable market conditions, supported by an increasing demand scenario. Recent legislative and administrative actions supporting the industry and expanding ethanol blend levels are also expected to have a positive impact. "Abengoa is a worldwide leader in sustainable fuel technologies and we are proud to have our operations up and running again in Portales", said Salgado.
Ethanol produced from the Portales facility is also expected to have a higher value than ethanol produced at some other grain based facilities under the provisions of both the Energy Investment and Security Act of 2005 (which established a Renewable Fuel Standard) and under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard being implemented by the state of California this year. Salgado explained that, "due to its energy efficient production setup and the unique sorghum feedstock, which is typically grown without irrigation in Roosevelt County and the surrounding region, Abengoa’s Portales plant is a model for sustainable American fuel production that can help our rural farmers maintain their way of life while also preserving our precious water resources."
Salgado also stated that the restart of the Portales facility was assisted by the strong support from New Mexico’s political leadership, including New Mexico’s United States Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall. New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman welcomed the reopening of Abengoa Bioenergy’s Portales facility stating, "The resumption of operations and the hiring of 40 new employees for this facility will bring a tremendous economic benefit to the Portales and Roosevelt County areas. Not only does this bring new jobs back to the area, but the benefits from local grain purchases and feed sales, as well as the additional contributions to the area’s tax base, will be dramatic as they filter through the local economy."