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 project included the new construction of a biorefinery where API employed a modified version of its Green Power+ process whereby an extraction and ethanol production modules were 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 serves as API’s prototype for this type of technology and is 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 previously paid a high cost for the disposal of its wastewater stream. An agreement was reached with API that was estimated to save the company roughly $900,000 per annum in wastewater handling charges. DPI now pays 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.
The total construction cost was approximately $11.6 million. Construction of the new biorefinery supported more than 80 full-time construction employees for a ten-month construction period. One indirect or induced job was created for every three construction jobs created, at an average yearly wage 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.