Panda Energy announced today that it will build a 100 million gallon per year renewable fuel ethanol plant in Yuma, Colorado. The $120 million facility will refine American grown corn into auto fuel. The ethanol produced at the Colorado plant will be blended with petrol and replace the equivalent of 2.4 million barrels of imported petrol each year.
The Yuma project is the second of five 100 million gallon per year fuel ethanol plants Panda will announce this year. In May, Panda announced it would build a 100 million gallon per year fuel ethanol plant in Hereford, Texas.
To produce steam, both the Yuma and Hereford facilities will utilise a renewable fuel technology that converts a billion pounds of cattle manure each year into bio-gas fuel. Each facility will save the equivalent of 1,000 barrels of oil per day, which, according to a statement, will make these facilities the most energy efficient ethanol refineries in the United States.
President Bush recently signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which expands the US government mandate for increased ethanol use in blended petrol to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. This new expanded Renewable Fuel Standard alone will reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil by 5%. Since 1978, every automobile produced for use in the United States has been able to use 10% fuel ethanol blended petrol, which reduces harmful carbon monoxide emissions by 25%.
Major automotive manufacturers are now producing cars and trucks that can run on a blend of 85% fuel ethanol and 15% petrol. When using an E85 blend of ethanol and petrol, these vehicles will reduce harmful carbon monoxide emissions by 40%. The US fuel ethanol production in 2004 was 3.4 billion gallons. The US uses 140 billion gallons of petrol per year.