RENSSELAER, Ind. -- New Energy Capital Corp. today announced the first production of ethanol at the Iroquois Bio-Energy Company, LLC, a 40-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant in Rensselaer, Ind.

Only the second dry grind corn ethanol facility to be built in Indiana, the Iroquois Bio-Energy Co. employs 34 people and will process 35,000 bushels of corn per day. The IBEC facility is the first ethanol plant to begin ethanol production since President Bush's State of the Union announcement of a new initiative to replace 35 billion gallons per year of gasoline consumption with renewable biofuels.

New Energy Capital owns a majority of the facility, which was designed by ICM Inc. and built by Fagen Inc. Other investors include Indeck Energy Services, Inc., The Andersons, Inc., Noble Americas Corp. and more than 250 local farmers and investors. The U.S. Department of Energy provided a grant to the project as a result of a Congressional appropriation secured by U.S. Congressman Peter Visclosky and supported by Sen. Richard Lugar.

New Energy Capital CEO Scott Brown said: "We began working with local farmers in Indiana in early 2005, and we are delighted to see the first ethanol flowing from the plant. Our ethanol production investments will help fulfill the President's mission to reduce our dependence on imported oil."

New Energy Capital owns interests in two other ethanol production facilities in Albion, Mich., and Clymers, Ind.

Sen. Lugar has recently called for the nation to produce 100 billion gallons of bio-fuels by 2025, saying, "Not only are ethanol and other renewable fuels positive for Indiana's economy, they are essential to solving an energy situation that threatens our nation's security."

Ethanol from the Indiana plant will be blended with gasoline for use in the transportation sector. By reducing gasoline use, ethanol cuts U.S. oil dependence, stimulates the nation's farm economy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

General Manager Keith Gibson said, "We expect to ship our first ethanol by the end of the week, and to reach full production capacity within two weeks." The plant is already grinding approximately 30,000 bushels of corn per day, and expects to process between 35,000 and 40,000 bushels per day at full capacity.

New Energy Capital Corp. is a New England-based company that invests in, owns and operates renewable energy and distributed generation projects. The Company is funded by VantagePoint Venture Partners, one of the nation's largest and most active venture capital firms, and the California State Teachers' Retirement System.

SOURCE: New Energy Capital Corp. via Business Wire.