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Beets to form basis of new ethanol plant

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The California Energy commission has injected a multi-million boost into a pilot ethanol plant from Mendota Advanced Bioenergy Beet Cooperative.

Mendota will use the $5 million (€3.8 million) to construct a plant that aims to produce 285,000 gallons of ethanol from 10,000 tonnes of beet feedstock. The plant is reported to be situated in Five Points.

‘Farmers need alternative crops that fit into the rotation for row crops,’ president John Diener was quoted as saying. ‘We also need crops that have long-term viability and that can keep people employed.’

Construction is planned for this summer and the plant is hoped to be operational by the end of the year. Along with sugar beets, about 15% of the ethanol will come from local woody plant matter.