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Posted on  

October 10, 2003

Abengoa Bioenergy Announces Groundbreaking For Starch and Biomass Conversion Pilot Plant

Chesterfield, MO, October 2, 2003 -- Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation, formerly High Plains Corporation, held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new starch and biomass conversion technology pilot plant in York, Nebraska. The facility is being built adjacent to Abengoa’s existing York ethanol plant and will be built in two phases. Completion of the first phase, the starch pilot plant, is expected in March, 2004. The second phase, consisting of the biomass pilot plant, is expected to be completed in the spring of 2005. Javier Salgado, President and Chief Executive Officer of Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation, said, ”The objective of the facility is to increase existing yields of ethanol from raw material inputs by developing innovative starch and biomass processing technologies for ethanol production. This is a landmark project in ethanol conversion technology research and development, and highlights Abengoa’s commitment to the development of the ethanol industry. We have made every effort to insure that this project has the highest probability of success, and that it is supported with the best team and the most extensive resources available.”

In September of 2002, the U.S. DOE awarded Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation (ABC) a $36.1 Million cost shared financial assistance agreement to develop and demonstrate starch and biomass conversion technologies. “With this ground breaking we are celebrating the first milestone in our partnership with Abengoa to improve ethanol production technology”, said Douglas Kaempf, the DOE Biomass Program Manager.

Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation has established a formidable team consisting of Abengoa Bioenergy R&D; (ABRD), a wholly owned subsidiary created to manage Abengoa’s R&D; activities; Novozymes North America Inc.; and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. These companies will combine their resources under this DOE Financial Assistance Agreement to develop and apply the best available technologies to this project. Abengoa Bioenergy R&D; has assembled a highly capable R&D; team with more than 100 years combined experience in starch and biomass conversion to plan, design, and implement this effort. ABRD plans to make the technology available to the ethanol industry through licensing agreements and joint collaborations.

The project is expected to benefit not only the York community and the state of Nebraska – a pioneering state in the fuel ethanol industry – but also the ethanol industry on a nationwide basis. Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns acknowledged the importance of the project, stating that, “I am very pleased that the U.S. Department of Energy selected the Abengoa ethanol plant in York as the site to pioneer enhanced ethanol conversion technology. Abengoa is one of the world's largest ethanol producers and its commitment to research and development is well known. Nebraska is proud to host this cutting edge work that Abengoa is undertaking.”

Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation is the nation's fourth largest producers of ethanol, the gasoline additive that helps clean the air while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It operates three facilities located in Colwich, Kansas; York, Nebraska; and Portales, New Mexico, which currently produce over 90 million gallons of ethanol annually, along with approximately 275,000 tons of animal feed products on a dry matter basis. In February of 2002, Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation was operating as a public company under the name of High Plains Corporation when it was acquired by a subsidiary of Abengoa, S.A.

Abengoa, S.A. is a public company headquartered in Seville, Spain and is listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange. Abengoa, S.A. operates in the industrial and technological sector, with a capitalization of over 500 million Euros (at Dec. 31, 2002). It offers solutions in areas such as sustainability, information society and the knowledge and creation of infrastructures. In calendar 2002 Abengoa reported sales of over 1.5 billion Euros, and profits of 43.5 million Euros, operating in four main areas: Bio-energy, where it is the world’s second largest manufacturer of bio-ethanol; Environmental Services, where it is the leader in several segments of European industrial waste treatment markets; Information Technologies, where it is an international leader, operating in Europe, America and the far east; and Industrial Engineering and Construction, where it is the leader in Spain and Latin America. In addition to its US ethanol assets, Abengoa Bioenergy also owns and operates two ethanol production facilities in Spain capable of producing approximately 83 million gallons of ethanol annually. A third facility in Spain is currently under construction. Additional information about Abengoa and its subsidiaries can be found at its Web site, www.abengoa.com.


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