Syngenta in North America announces it has signed a commercial agreement with Arkalon Ethanol, LLC of Liberal, Kan., to begin using corn that features Enogen trait technology. The ethanol plant will begin using the revolutionary grain, which will replace its liquid alpha amylase, following the 2014 corn harvest.
“We are excited to announce this agreement with Arkalon Ethanol and we’re confident that Enogen technology is a solution that can add tremendous value to its operation,” said David Witherspoon, head of renewable fuels for Syngenta. “We have collaborated with Arkalon throughout this entire process and this agreement is a true example of our commitment to our customers, and the types of partnerships we want to form within the ethanol industry.”
Enogen grain delivers alpha amylase enzyme in the corn kernel, eliminating the need for an ethanol plant to use liquid alpha amylase. The robust alpha amylase enzyme found in Enogen grain helps an ethanol plant drastically reduce the viscosity of its corn mash. This breakthrough reduction can lead to unprecedented levels of solids loading, which directly contributes to increased ethanol yields and throughput, as well as critical cost savings from reduced natural gas, energy, water and chemical usage.
Arkalon’s sister plant, Bonanza BioEnergy, LLC, is currently wrapping up its first year of contracting with local growers to produce Enogen grain. Syngenta collaborated with Bonanza BioEnergy on a three-month Enogen technology trial that ended in July 2012. A commercial agreement followed in November that same year. Arkalon Ethanol and Bonanza BioEnergy are two of three ethanol plants operated by Conestoga Energy Partners, LLC.
“After seeing the value that Enogen corn can create at our Bonanza plant, we naturally wanted to explore implementing the technology at the Arkalon plant,” said Tom Willis, CEO of Conestoga Energy Partners. “We have full confidence in the technology and in Syngenta as a partner, and we are eager to begin working with our local farmers to supply Enogen grain.”
Arkalon Ethanol is currently contracting with local corn farmers to produce Enogen grain in 2014. Growers under contract will deliver their Enogen grain to the ethanol plant following the 2014 harvest and will be paid an average premium of 40 cents per bushel for the grain.
“This is a great opportunity for Arkalon and local farmers to add value to their operations and their communities,” said Witherspoon. “In our research, we’ve seen no yield drag between Syngenta hybrids with the Enogen trait and commercial hybrids of the same isoline without the trait, so the premium paid to the grower is a true premium and can really make a difference in their bottom line.”
In addition to a recent string of new trial and commercial agreements, Syngenta announced in July a three-year commitment to the renewable fuels industry, where Syngenta will donate $1 for every acre planted with Enogen corn to a renewable fuels advocacy group, beginning with this year’s $65,000 donation to Fuels America.