CORBIN, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2012) — A Kentucky-based biofuel company plans to build an integrated energy facility in Whitley County that would convert sugar beets into fuel over the next two years, if it can get approval from the state, the Corbin Times-Tribune reports.
Roger Ford, CEO of Patriot Bioenergy Corporation, which has an office in Williamsburg, said the company would use natural gas to spark the process, which is like a distillery getting alcohol from sugar.
“This is not new technology, but has been in use for hundreds of years,” Ford told the newspaper, adding his company had been working for a number of years on an “energy project” in the area.
Patriot reportedly has had more than 20 acres of energy beets growing throughout Whitley County to test growing conditions with field trials on the energy beets going on since the spring 2011. This spring, field trials were expanded by Patriot in Whitley and Adair counties.
The company’s plan in contingent on funding, construction of necessary infrastructure at the site and the approval of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Economic Development and/or Energy Incentives Board, the Times-Tribune says. At full operation, the energy plant could create between 100 and 120 jobs in the county, with an average salary of $35,000 in agriculture energy and transportation sectors.