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Abengoa Bioenergy opens pilot plant for the energy of the future

October 15, 2007

Madrid, October 15, 2007.- Abengoa Bioenergy has opened a state-of-the-art pilot plant for the conversion of biomass in the State of Nebraska, in the United States. The plant, which involves an investment of more than 35 million dollars, will be exclusively dedicated to the research and development of biofuel production processes from lignocellulosic biomass, the earths most organic feedstock, as part of the agreement signed with the DOE (US Department of Energy) in 2003.

By opening this plant Abengoa Bioenergy strengthens its position as worldwide leader in the area of renewable fuels. Located at Abengoa Bioenergy's ethanol production facility in York (Nebraska), the Spanish owned pilot plant will research and test proprietary technology for use in commercial-scale conversion of biomass into ethanol. The new technologies obtained will be implemented at the biomass biorefinery that Abengoa Bioenergy is building in Kansas, the first of its kind.

Abengoa Bioenergy´s plant plays a fundamental roll in the U.S. Department of Energy´s Biofuels Initiative –the ceremony was presided by the maximum in charge– and their aim is to reduce gasoline consumption by 20% in 10 years.

Abengoa Bioenergy has long been committed to biomass conversion, a raw material which offers environmental advantages allowing the use of materials normally discarded in grain and crop production for sustainable energy production.

Javier Salgado, President and CEO of Abengoa Bioenergy states: "With this project, Abengoa Bioenergy continues the journey it began in 1995 to establish a leadership position in biofuels technology and production capacity to provide a sustainable energy alternative to the transportation sector. This new pilot plant strengthens our technological and research capacity to continue pursuing major milestones in our program."

And furthermore comments: "By producing ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass, Abengoa Bioenergy reaches a key aim in its technological plan within those parameters foreseen in their research and investigation program."

The Nebraska Governor, Dave Heineman, who presided over the opening ceremony, highlighted the importance of these initiatives to reduce the reliance on imported oil, combat pollution and create economic opportunities in rural and urban Nebraska.

The pilot plant inaugurated by Abengoa Bioenergy, is the first of its kind; it will serve as a platform for testing new equipment, systems and catalysts necessary to break down various organic compounds and process them, such as herbaceous and woody materials, thus optimizing ethanol production. The plant will also be a research and training centre for other teams in Abengoa Bioenergy whilst the company evaluates and tests additional products, equipment and other processes being designed at present to improve organic biomass processes.

Furthermore, during the ceremony, Javier Salgado announced a collaboration agreement signed with the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the sum of 38 million dollars for the design and development of the first commercial-scale biomass into ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas.

The plant will process daily 700 metric tons of biomass to produce 44 million liters of ethanol per year as well as other forms of enewable energy such as electricity and vapor. The biomass plant will be situated next to a conventional cereal to ethanol plant of 88 million gallons (more than 300 million liters), which will allow both facilities the benefit of a combined capacity of 100 million gallons (more than 400 million liters). The investment of both will exceed 300 million dollars.

Abengoa Bioenergy with presence in three global bioethanol markets: the United States, Brazil and Europe, will invest more than 500 million dollars in the next five years in their production of biomass into bioethanol.

About Abengoa Bioenergy

Abengoa Bioenergy, leader in European bioethanol production and fifth in the United States, has a total annual production capacity of more than one billion litres. Abengoa Bioenergy operates three bioethanol production plants in Spain at present, with an installed annual capacity of more than 500 million liters.

About Abengoa

Abengoa is a technological company applying innovative solutions for sustainable development in the infrastructures, environment and energy sectors. It is a listed company with a treasury stock of more than 2,500 million euros (11/10/2007) and is present in more than seventy countries, where it operates with its five Business Units: Solar, Bioenergy, Environmental Services, Information Technologies, and Industrial Engineering and Construction. (

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