November 29, 2006

Cellulosic Ethanol from Woody Biomass

Three weeks ago Mascoma Corporation announced the successful raising of $30 Million to be applied to RD&D for cellulosic ethanol technology. Today they announced a commitment to collaborate with Tamarack Energy, Inc. of Essex, CT on the development of cellulosic ethanol facilities using Mascoma enzymatic hydrolysis technology. They will start with a demonstration facility based on wood biomass feedstock. New York is targeted as the first state to see commercial-scale facilities deployment.

I talked with Tamarack President Derek Amidon about the announcement and his company's plans for the future. The upbeat president said his company is a subsidiary of Haley & Aldrich, a 50+ year old environmental, engineering and management consulting services firm with an international clientele.

Tamarack Energy, Inc. conforms to the parent company's vision of creating opportunities with clients to help meet local and global energy demands. The range of renewable energy they service includes wind, solar, biomass conversion, and the production of biofuels. Their team touts extensive experience in the development, permitting, engineering, construction and operation of a broad range of energy projects.

Below are excerpts from their joint press release:

Mascoma and Tamarack Energy partner to accelerate the Commercialization of Cellulosic Ethanol
Plans Underway to Open Facilities with Initial Focus on the State of New York

ESSEX, CT and CAMBRIDGE, MA, November 29, 2006 -- Tamarack Energy, Inc., of Essex, Connecticut and Mascoma Corporation, the leader in cellulosic biomass-to-ethanol development and production, announced today an agreement to collaborate on the joint development of cellulosic ethanol facilities in New York, as well as follow-on opportunities in Pennsylvania and New England states, leveraging wood mills and other production facilities. Cellulosic ethanol is an emerging renewable alternative to fossil fuels, which reduces U.S. reliance on foreign oil and creates jobs for rural America.

This partnership enables Mascoma to apply its licensed and internally-developed cellulosic conversion technologies, processes, engineering and design expertise, to Tamarack Energy’s alternative energy development, permitting, operational, and financing abilities.

“Mascoma has assembled a formidable powerhouse of technical talent that, when integrated with the Tamarack Energy team’s biomass project development, wood procurement, engineering, construction and facility operations experience, strategically positions us to lead the commercialization of ethanol production from cellulosic biomass,” said Tamarack Energy President Derek Amidon. “Given the number of sites across the northeast with access to cellulosic feedstocks, including scrap wood, paper sludge, and other forestry and agricultural biomass, the region is ideal for the renewable energy economic development projects and integrated plants which Tamarack Energy and Mascoma can develop.”

Mascoma President Colin South added, “Mascoma is leading the development of cellulosic ethanol technology for an economically competitive fuel alternative. By working with Tamarack Energy to integrate our cellulosic ethanol plants into their bio-energy parks under development, we can reduce the cost and time required to bring cellulosic ethanol production to deployment and commercialization. This will enable Mascoma to provide a source for environmentally superior fuels, as well as create an economic development opportunity for rural America.”

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