WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Florida selected Florida Crystals Corporation's Okeelanta facility as the site to build a cellulosic ethanol research and demonstration plant in Palm Beach County. In a unanimous vote on Tuesday the university selection committee chose Florida Crystals from a list of bidders to construct a cellulosic ethanol plant that will produce 1 million to 2 million gallons of ethanol a year. This $20 million project is financed through a state grant to encourage the development of alternative energy resources. Technology developed by UF professors will be used to convert sugarcane bagasse and other biomass into ethanol, a clean energy alternative that protects the quality of our water and air. "This partnership is an important step in developing reliable, clean energy resources for Florida," said Gaston Cantens, Vice President of Corporate Relations for Florida Crystals. "We are committed to the development of renewable sources of energy. We are excited about this collaborative project with UF and hopeful that it will help our state move forward in expanding renewable energy alternatives and reduce our dependence on foreign oil." Florida Crystals has gained the expertise and recognition in the area of renewable energy, operating the largest renewable energy power plants in the nation. Fueled by sugarcane and yard trimmings, Florida Crystals generates clean electricity to run its operations as well as power 60,000 homes. Florida Crystals also partnered with Florida International University earlier this year to do additional cellulosic ethanol research. The Fanjul family's privately-owned Flo-Sun, Incorporated, is headed by Alfonso Fanjul, Chairman and CEO, and J. Pepe Fanjul, Vice Chairman, President and COO. Flo-Sun and its subsidiaries have operations in South Florida, the Dominican Republic, Belgium, Canada, California, New York, Maryland, and Louisiana. Its consolidated operations own 400,000 acres, harvest 10 million tons of sugar cane and refine 4 million tons of sugar each year, own and operate the largest renewable energy biomass power plant in the United States, and farm and market organic sugars and rice. They also have extensive real estate development operations, and own and operate the Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic. The companies have combined revenues of approximately $3 billion. Their sugar brands include Florida Crystals(R), Domino(R), C&H(R), Red Path(R) and Jack Frost(R). None of their businesses manufacture alcoholic beverages of any kind.
SOURCE Florida Crystals Corporation