Ethanol Plant Planned in Cumberland County

From today's Fayetteville Observer

A Seattle company called E85 Inc. plans to build a plant north of Fayetteville that will produce 100 million gallons of ethanol each year.

The $200 million plant would be the company’s first and its flagship. E85 wants to build nine others across the country and use as much locally grown corn as possible.

There are plenty of incentives on the table. This could be the start of something big. More below the fold....

According to the article, written by Fayetteville Observer staff writer Andrew Barksdale, Cumberland County Commisioners have been asked to put up $875,000 in incentives towards buying the land just north of Fayetteville. There are also state incentives on the table as well - a total of about $1.5 million. The deal was put together by Phyllis Owens, who is an executive VP with the Cumberland Co. Business Council. It is expected that the plant will employ 40-50 people and have about a $2 million payroll.

Back in August, plans for a smaller ethanol plant were announced for neighboring Hoke County. When asked about this,

Mark Dassel, senior vice president and director for E85, said he was not worried that a competitor, Clean Burn Fuels, has proposed a smaller ethanol plant in neighboring Hoke County. He called the competition and production of ethanol good for America.

“We can’t do it all,” Dassel said, speaking via telephone from Seattle. “The market potential is immense.”

A representative of Clean Burn Fuels could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Dassel said a byproduct in ethanol production is animal feed, which will be sold to the state’s thriving poultry and swine industries. That was one reason E85 chose North Carolina, he said.

Here in Southern Pines, we have one of the first ethanol stations in the state. They offer E85, which is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, and E10, which 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. Most cars on the road today can use E10, and many can be equipped for E85. Alot of newer model cars are already equipped for E85. I know for sure a lot of Fords can be purchased that way - because the Ethanol Station is conveniently owned by the Ford Dealer across the street. Cross Market much?




I saw something, maybe it was on here, of a gas station owner saying it wasnt worth the cost to change over because no one would buy it. any truth to the charges of reduced gas mileage making it not worth the cost?

"Keep the Faith"

Neither one of our vehicles can use E85

But we use the E10 all the time. It consistently is about 10 cents a gallon cheaper than straight gasoline, and I did a semi-scientific study with my new PT Cruiser. I got better mileage with 2 tanks of E10 (regular town driving) than I did with 2 tanks of premium gasoline (regular town driving). So, since it's convenient for me, cheaper, works better AND is cleaner, I'm sticking with it.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

It's not worth it

The energy content of E85 is ~10% less than for gasoline. So your mpg will most likely go down. At the same time, it costs almost a gallon of petroleum for fertilizers, pesticides, tractors, etc. to generate a gallon of EtOH. That analysis is for corn-based EtOH. Sugar-based has a gain of somewhere around 5x. If we could grow sugar cane like they do in Brazil, ethanol would be a good deal. As it is right now? Feh.

What about switchgrass?

Not that I know anything about it at all, but I remember reading somewhere that making E85 from switchgrass is much more efficient than using corn, and that we can grow switchgrass here. Comment?

Conflict of interest?

The Business Council negotiated the deal, negotiated the incentives, and one of their "charter members" is selling the land to E85. A little too cozy for my tastes.

And E85, Inc. seems just a bit odd, too.

What seems odd about E85, Inc?

Can you be more specific? A link just to their website doesn't help much in explaining why you think they're odd. It just looks like a corporate website to me. Not someplace I'd like to spend a lot of time, but it didn't seem ominous. Tell me what you're seeing that I'm not.

I don't like the closely related transactions, either, but at least they've been publically disclosed, and not hidden.

As I mentioned in my original post, the Ford Dealer in Southern Pines was the one who opened the America's Fuel station across the street for his dealer ship, as a way to help sell his E85 equipped cars. Some people saw that as cynical. I see it as a business man seeing an opportunity to do something that is good for his business and for the community. I don't see that as bad, really.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

E85, Inc.

Their "sponsers" [sic] page just looks odd. They have no experience in the chemical processing industry. I'm a chemist at DuPont. Running a 100M gpy plant is just a bit different from making moonshine in the backwoods. :-)

Can't argue with that!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi


I kept looking at your name and the light bulb finally went on. You will be a great asset and you will love being here. The Southern Dem needs to know that you held a get together at your home for Larry and you aren't in his district either. She will love you. We all love Larry.



for the warm welcome. I've been mostly lurking here since learning about BlueNC at the Dem reunion you mentioned above.

'06 has been a good year. I'm looking forward to working hard in '07 to help consolidate the gains (and maybe take out Liddy) in '08.

Daryl Cobranchi

Blue Bracelet

Are you still wearing your blue bracelet?



A genuine v 1.0 thinkBLUE2008. I've been wearing it since 1 week after the 2004 election. I won't take it off 'til 11/05/08.

Dr. Franklin Clark

Do you know who that is? It is none other than Rusty Clark who played basketball for the Tarheels.