East Coast Ethanol, LLC (ECE), which plans to build four corn-based fuel ethanol plants, announced today that it will construct plants in Northampton Co., NC; Chester Co., SC; Wayne Co., GA; and Jackson Co., FL. The firm said that its $871 million investment would make it the foremost supplier of ethanol to the Southeast U.S. market.

With a nameplate production capacity of 440 million gallons of ethanol per year, ECE will become the sixth largest ethanol producer in the U.S. According to the latest figures released by the Energy Information Administration, the Southeast ethanol market demand is estimated at 2.1 billion gallons per year of an E-10 ethanol blend (10% ethanol and 90% gasoline).

In addition to producing 110 million gallons of ethanol, each of the four plants will also produce 353,000 tons of distillers dried grains, a high-protein, high-energy animal feed supplement, which will be marketed to the dairy, beef, swine, and poultry industry.

NC: The $212 million plant will be located on 414 acres of land in Northampton County, just west of Seaboard, NC.
SC: The $230 million plant will be located on 319 acres of land in Chester County, just southwest of Chester, SC on Beltline Rd.
GA: The $216 million plant will be located on 350 acres of land in Wayne County, just southeast of Jesup, GA.
FL: The $212 million plant will be located on 296 acres of land in Jackson County, just southwest of Campbellton, FL

Construction of the plants is to begin in the spring of 2009. It is expected that the plant construction will take 18 to 22 months, therefore, the plant is projected to begin operations in 2010. Each of the plants will initially have a workforce of more than 40 employees. The U.S.-based firm will generate more than $400 million annually to the local economies where the four plants are located.

ECE will need approximately 40 million bushels of corn to produce 110 million gallons of ethanol at each plant per year.

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