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The United States Department of Energy awards Abengoa a project to improve the technology used in the ethanol production process

September 18, 2003

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has officially announced that it has awarded Abengoa, through its US subsidiary High Plains Corporation, an R&D project to be implemented over 48 months and worth USD 35.4 million, half of which will be put up by the DOE and the other half by Abengoa.

Abengoa, in collaboration with Novozymes North America, Inc., VTT-Finland and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), will develop a novel biomass-derived process technology that uses corn stover and DDGS (animal feed) blends as a primary feedstock to achieve significantly higher ethanol yields, while maintaining the protein feed value. In addition to making the process more economical, this technology will also increase the energy efficiency of ethanol production, making it more competitive in relation to fossil fuels currently in use and therefore contributing to making the industry more sustainable.

This is a landmark project in biomass R&D, the most ambitious in its field and endowed with the most extensive resources available, which will enable Abengoa to strengthen its leadership position in technological research and development in this area.

Abengoa, an industrial and technological company that provides solutions for sustainable development, the information and knowledge society and the creation of infrastructures, has a strong commitment to investment in R&D. In this specific case, its efforts are directed at improving the energy efficiency and competitiveness of ethanol, one of its main areas of activity, which also include Environment, Systems and Networks and Industrial Engineering and Construction.

The agreement with the DOE, the fruit of this commitment, strengthens the thrust of its R&D drive, a strategic factor in Abengoa’s business plan. The purpose of investing in this technology is to make the production of ethanol more economical, so that it can compete with other fuels on the open market without subsidies.

Abengoa operates three ethanol facilities in the United States which produce 85 million gallons of ethanol a year (322 million litres) and one in Cartagena, with the capacity to produce 100 million litres a year. Abengoa is due to start up a new 126 million litre plant shortly and is currently promoting a third project in Castilla y León, in partnership with Ebro Puleva, which is scheduled to go into operation at the beginning of 2005.

In the first half of the year Abengoa reported sales of 750.2 million euro and profit attributable to the parent company of 20.4 million euro.

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