DALLAS -- Panda Ethanol Inc. intends to build a 100 million gallon-per-year ethanol plant powered by cattle manure near the city of Muleshoe in Bailey County, Texas.

When finished, the facility will annually refine approximately 38 million bushels of corn into a clean-burning, renewable fuel for the nation's transportation needs. The ethanol produced by the plant will displace approximately 2.6 million barrels of imported oil a year.

The Muleshoe facility will generate the steam used in the ethanol manufacturing process by gasifying more than 1 billion pounds of cattle manure a year. Once complete, it will be one of the most fuel efficient ethanol refineries in the nation and equal in size to Panda's Hereford facility, currently under construction, which will be the largest biomass-fueled ethanol plant in the United States.

The Muleshoe facility is the sixth 100 mmgy ethanol project announced by Panda, and the fourth to be powered by cattle manure. The company has received air permits for three of its six announced ethanol projects.

"This plant will significantly expand our ethanol production portfolio, strengthen the economy of the Texas Panhandle and enhance our nation's energy independence," said Todd Carter, CEO of Panda Ethanol. "We are excited by the community's support for this project and look forward to working with state and local officials in seeing it through to completion."

Panda's ethanol refinery will be located on a 305-acre site eight miles northwest of Muleshoe, Texas. Construction will take approximately 18 months. The completion date is dependent upon financing, regulatory approvals and other conditions. Panda intends to submit its request for an air permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality this week.

Panda Ethanol is headquartered in Dallas. The company is developing fuel ethanol refineries and biomass facilities in the United States. Panda Ethanol's largest single shareholder is Panda Energy International Inc.

SOURCE: Panda Ethanol Inc. via PR Newswire.