NEW YORK -- Xethanol Corp., a biotechnology driven ethanol production company, announced today it has organized CoastalXethanol LLC to develop ethanol plants in Georgia, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Fla.

The move is part of its growth plans to roll out small-footprint ethanol plants regionally.

CoastalXethanol, to be based in Savannah, GA, will focus on a region rich in wood biomass residues from its huge forest products industry. Xethanol expects to open plants utilizing its proprietary technologies. These technologies -- acquired from leading universities and U.S. government agencies such as the U.S. Forestry Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis. -- are designed to enable Xethanol to produce ethanol and valuable co-products using biomass waste feedstocks.

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, demand for ethanol in Georgia could skyrocket if a federal court rules that metro Atlanta drivers must use reformulated gasoline to comply with Clean Air Smog standards -- a move experts say could generate overnight demand for 250 million gallons or more of ethanol.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle further reported that on Jan. 11, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue proposed a state budget that includes $2 million to seed research on developing alternative "biofuels" that convert wood chips, peanut hulls and other organic material into energy. Perdue called for a possible expansion of the Georgia BioRefinery Initiative at The University of Georgia.

"As a strong agricultural state, Georgia should be, and will be, a leader in this field. We'll be able to meet more of our own energy needs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and turn a profit," Perdue said.

Endorsing Gov. Perdue's enlightened policies, Xethanol Chairman and CEO Christopher d'Arnaud-Taylor said:

"We chose this region as our primary growth initiative for two main reasons. First because of rapidly expanding regional demand for ethanol, and second for its abundance of biomass feedstocks that are readily available.

"Our long-term goal for the region is to develop production capacity of 250 million gallons of ethanol per year. We have recently taken decisive steps to enable Xethanol to pursue this valuable regional opportunity."

Xethanol Corporation's goal is to be the leader in the emerging biomass-to-ethanol industry. Xethanol's mission is to optimize the use of biomass in the renewable energy field and convert biomass that is currently being abandoned or land-filled into ethanol and other valuable co-products, especially xylitol. Xethanol deploys proprietary biotechnologies that will extract and ferment the sugars trapped in these biomass waste concentrations, using ethanol plants located closer to biomass sources. In Iowa, Xethanol owns two ethanol production facilities, where it is deploying these technologies.

SOURCE: Xethanol Corp. via Business Wire.