The carbon intensity (CI) pathway for California Ethanol & Power's (CE+P) anticipated sugarcane and sweet sorghum ethanol has been certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the company said Tuesday.
CE+P's sugarcane ethanol will have a CI of 54.47 and its sweet sorghum ethanol will have a CI of 39.0, it said, which will provide CE+P a blended average CI of about 49.
CARB readopted the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in September 2015, the company noted, and the updated version of the LCFS regulation became effective this month, resulting in indirect land use change default values being applied to all LCFS pathways.
CARB's readopted model will improve CE+P's sugarcane ethanol to about 26.23 and it will revise the sweet sorghum to about 40.66, the company said, which will bring the blended CI to about 32.
"The newly revised CI pathway for sugarcane ethanol is significant as it establishes CE+P's ethanol as one of the fuels with the lowest carbon intensity," said President and CEO Dave Rubenstein. "Once we are in production and provide operational data, we are eligible to claim credits under the LCFS due to our low CI relative to petroleum-based gasoline."
The company believes it will have an argument to further reduce its numbers when it gets closer to construction of the project.
"We believe that we will have some additional points that will further reduce them," Rubenstein told OPIS, "but at this point there is no guarantee on that."
In July, the company said it was awarded a $750,000 loan as part of the Imperial County Agricultural Benefit Program.
The program was established by the county's Board of Supervisors to mitigate losses to agricultural production, jobs and the local economy resulting from development on farmland within the county.
CE+P said the loan would "fund a portion of specific tasks associated with securing financing for the $555 million facility."
The company said it has reached milestones including obtaining necessary building entitlements and signing off-take agreements for ethanol, electricity and biogas with Shell Trading (U.S.) Co. It said it is continuing to conduct research and maintain the sugarcane and sweet sorghum feedstocks.
CE+P said it "intends to produce extremely low carbon ethanol, base-load renewable electricity and pipeline-quality biogas."