Advanced Ethanol Council changes name, expands membership

By Advanced Biofuels Business Council | July 20, 2015

The Advanced Ethanol Council, founded in 2011 to represent advanced and cellulosic ethanol producers and technology providers, is expanding its organizational charter to include other types of advanced biofuels. The new group, called the Advanced Biofuels Business Council, also announced new corporate and board members.

“The council is already taking a collaborative approach to problem solving and advancing policy positions to accelerate the commercial deployment of many different types of advanced biofuels,” said Adam Monroe, president of the Americas for Novozymes and ABBC Chairman, “so this is really about accurately reflecting the breadth of our membership and their advanced technologies, while continuing to put the industry in the best position to succeed.”

As part of the expansion, the council announced a number of other membership moves. Two existing members—POET-DSM and Cellerate (a cellulosic biofuel joint venture between Quad County Corn Processors and Syngenta)—will take seats on the board of directors. New member company Aemetis will also join the board.  Sweetwater Energy Inc. will join ABBC as a corporate member.

Aemetis, an advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals company, employs over 130 employees worldwide. Aemetis owns and operates a 60 million gallon per year capacity ethanol and animal feed production facility in Keyes, California, and a 50 million gallon per year capacity renewable chemical and advanced fuel production facility on the East Coast of India.

“As Aemetis continues to explore new opportunities in advanced biofuels and chemicals, it is clear that we must continue to engage at the policy level to ensure the long-term stability and success of our industry,” said Aemetis CEO Eric McAfee. “We appreciate the Council’s expansion and look forward to working with the many advanced biofuel business leaders already in the group,” he added.

Sweetwater Energy, a Rochester, New York-based renewable biochemical producer, uses a unique technology to convert low-cost plant materials to a variety of high-value biochemicals. The company is currently in talks to finalize the location of its first commercial scale facility.

“Sweetwater is laser focused on building our first commercial scale biomass-to-biochemical conversion facility, but we understand the synergies between a robust advanced biofuels industry and biochemicals,” said Arunas Chesonis, chairman and CEO of Sweetwater Energy. “We very much look forward to working with the Advanced Biofuels Business Council.”

As membership grows, the group expects to be pushing an agenda focused on defending and enabling the renewable fuel standard (RFS), building political support for comprehensive tax reform and expanding market access for advanced biofuels. “If you look at the history of policymaking for renewable fuels, it is very clear that good things happen when we stick together and speak with one voice,” said Executive Director Brooke Coleman. “That’s what we are focused on at the council, putting the advanced bio-refining industry in the best position to succeed.”