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Abengoa Bioenergy R&D, Inc. signs contract With SunOpta Inc. to develop Biomass Fractionation Technology

July 1, 2004

Madrid, 1st July 2004.- Abengoa Bioenergy R&D, subsidiary of Abengoa Bioenergy has signed an strategic alliance with SunOptathat will allow Abengoa to convert agricultural residues into ethanol, products of animal feed and biochemical products. Abengoa Bioenergía is developing, in line with its long-term strategy of sustainable growth in the production of ethanol from starch and biomass,a biomass technology to convert the agricultural residues (such as corn stover and straw) into ethanol.

The division of steam explosion of SunOpta, StakeTech, will provide I+D services of engineering and the equipment necessary for the development of the Abengoa's biomass fractionation technology. This StakeTech steam explosion technology has demonstrated its effectiveness in the past 20 years at several pilot and commercial demonstration facilities, therefore will be a key component in Abengoa's fractionation.

Javier Salgado, Abengoa Bioenergy's CEO, indicates that "this alliance is quite important for us because the approach to integration of the production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass and from starch will perceptibly improve the commercial viability of the biomass technologyand will provide an unlimited growth opportunity in the ethanol industry from starch".In addition, he adds, " we have selected SunOpta's technology after an exhaustive evaluation of all the possible suppliers, its commitment with the innovation and a sustainable future makes of them the ideal associate ".

Abengoa is working with a number of industrial partners, universities, and laboratories to develop and evaluate downstream conversion processes (such as enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis and ethanol fermentation from hexose and pentose sugars) at laboratory and small pilot scale. The development of pilot plant process will primarily be carried out at the installations that Abengoa Bionergy possesses in York, Nebraska (U.S.A), whereas scaling up new processes and its integration within ethanol production from starch will be performed at the Salamanca's commercial demonstration plant.

Nowadays Abengoa Bioenergy operates on Spain in two bioethanol plants from cereal, Ecocarburantes Españoles and Bioetanol Galicia, with a total installed capacity of 142 and 168 million liters per year, respectively. In addition, a third plant is being constructed in Salamanca, close to Ebro Puleva as associate, named Biocarburantes de Castilla y León, with an annual production of 200 million liters, of which, five of them will come from the conversion of the biomass contained in the cereal, for what will be used a new technology that is developing Abengoa Bioenergy R&D. In the United States of America, the company operates on three plants of bioetanol and a fourth one is being constructed with a capacity of 750 million liters per year, which turns it into the second worldwide producer and the first European producer.

Abengoa, an industrial and technology company listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange, has a market capitalization of over 522 million euros (31/12/2003), provides solutions for Sustainable Development, the Information and Knowledge Society and the Creation of Infrastructures. Abengoa operates in four important areas: Bioenergy, where it is the world's second largest bioethanol producer; Environmental Services, where it is the European leader in different industrial waste market segments; Information Technologies, where it has achieved global recognition and has operations in Europe, North America and Asia; and Industrial Engineering and Construction, where it is a leader in Spain and Latin America.

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