Alpena, MI – American Process, Inc., utilized New Market Tax Credits to create 20 new jobs for a biorefinery project at its Alpena, Michigan plant site. The proposed project includes the new construction of a biorefinery where API will employ a modified version of its Green Power+ (patent pending) process whereby an extraction and ethanol production modules are added to the front of a biomass boiler for the purpose of extracting C5 and C6 sugars and converting them to ethanol before the wood feedstock is burned in the boiler. The Alpena Biorefinery will serve as API’s prototype for this type of technology and will be located directly adjacent to a wood product manufacturer, Decorative Panels International (“DPI”). DPI uses a steam explosion process on wood chips to break down the wood fibers before turning them into wood paneling. DPI currently pays a high cost for the disposal of its wastewater stream. An agreement has been reached with API that is estimated to save the company roughly $900,000 per annum in wastewater handling charges. DPI will therefore pay API to off-take the wastewater from their steam explosion process, and the subsequent dewatering process will serve as API’s primary feedstock for the bio-refinery. A second segment of the Green Power+ process is designed to convert acetic acid, a byproduct of converting the sugars to ethanol, into potassium acetate for use as a road de-icer. This additional component is a significant benefit to the plant’s overall financial and environmental capacity. API’s leadership is highly confident that the de-icer process will be constructed and implemented on a timely basis. If however the de-icer process is delayed, the acetic acid could be concentrated and sold directly to market.
The total construction cost approximately $11.6 million. The construction of the new biorefinery supports more than 80 full-time construction employees for the ten-month construction period. It is also anticipated, based on IMPLAN results that for every three construction jobs created, one indirect or induced job will be created with average yearly wages of $34,212.
API’s biorefinery budget includes $8.4 million in equipment purchase for the project. This equipment purchase is estimated to support 8 direct jobs, 6 indirect jobs, and 9 induced jobs.
The NMTC-enhanced financing filled a capital gap, without which the project would not move forward; created significant impact throughout its supply chain; provided quality job creation and retention, providing employment opportunities for LIPs; and, created tax impact benefiting public jurisdictions in its community and LICs beyond.