A unique three-member partnership utilizing the state’s first active energy services biomass project will bring $22 million in investment to Louisville.
Gov. Steve Beshear joined community leaders and officials from The Lubrizol Corp., Zeon Chemicals and Recast Energy to announce the partnership, which will also keep 340 Kentucky workers employed and add 14 new jobs.
Lubrizol, which produces latexes and resins, and Zeon, a producer of specialty elastomers, are located adjacent to one another in west Louisville and share the use of steam and other utilities. Both facilities need steam, de-ionized water, wastewater treatment and compressed air to operate. But in 2009, the utility provider for the two companies announced plans to close, leaving Lubrizol and Zeon without the steam and utilities they needed to continue production.
Instead of closing their doors or moving production elsewhere, Lubrizol and Zeon worked with state and local officials to develop a contract with Recast Energy to bring the third-party utility provider to the area – supplying the necessary steam and utilities for ongoing operation of the two facilities.
Recast’s entrance to the market brings the first active energy services biomass project to the commonwealth. Recast Energy converts cost-competitive biomass, or organic matter, into green electricity and thermal energy (steam) for its industrial customers. The company is in the process of retrofitting a coal-fired boiler to consume clean biomass that is expected to be operational by mid-2012.
Additional off-site jobs created by this project are expected to add another 12 to 20 full-time workers in the area through third-party fuel suppliers.