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Ethanol demand sparks expansion of Abengoa headquarters

By Julie Bierach, KWMU

SAINT LOUIS, MO – Biofuel producer Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation has announced that it's doubling the size of its US headquarters in Chesterfield. They say the booming biofuel industry around the world is the reason why.

Ethanol is a clean-burning fuel made from fermented corn.

Becky Grisham with the Missouri Corn Growers Association says farmers across the state are also experiencing the boom. "In Missouri we've increased our acreage by 30% from last year. So farmer are responding to that demand and growing more corn in order to meet this new market that the ethanol industry is creating," says Grisham.

Currently, Missouri has four majority farmer-owned ethanol plants in production producing 170-million gallons a year and five under construction. By 2009, Missouri could be producing 500- million gallons a year.

Grisham says also contributing to the increase demand is a 10% ethanol standard that will be implemented in Missouri January 1st. "That says that 10% ethanol will be used in gas when it is the same or cheaper than unleaded gasoline. So what that does is creates a market for ethanol in Missouri and that's why you're seeing some of these plants come online," said Grisham.