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Upson gets biorefinery demonstration facility

Governor Sonny Perdue announced Monday that Thomaston in Upson County will be home to a new biorefinery demonstration plant, the result of a partnership between Diamond Alternative Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation, and American Process, Inc. (API). The opening of the new facility, expected around the first quarter of 2010, represents the creation of 25-30 jobs in Thomaston and Atlanta. ’Georgia is striving to be a world leader in biofuels,’ said Governor Perdue. ‘Our plentiful supply of raw materials to manufacture biofuels enables private industry to develop alternative energy technologies and create jobs. By opening their biorefinery plant, Diamond Alternative Energy and API will further cement Georgia’s leadership position in the alternative energy industry.’ ’Companies like Diamond Alternative Energy and API that specialize in biofuels are able to make significant headway in Georgia by taking advantage of the state’s plentiful supply of natural resources,’ said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. ‘The opening of this new facility in Thomaston represents Georgia’s continued growth in the alternative energy sector.’ The demonstration plant will use API’s proprietary biorefinery technology for the production of cellulosic fuels and chemicals. API, a company based in Atlanta, is a leader in the development and deployment of biorefinery technologies. According to API, the new facility will demonstrate that cellulosic biorefineries are feasible and economically viable on a scale that will allow rapid commercial replication. ’The demonstration plant in Thomaston is an important milestone in the commercialization of cellulosic fuels technologies,’ said Theodora Retsina, president of American Process, Inc. ‘We have been welcomed by the Thomaston community and we look forward to a successful startup.’ Valero has invested in other alternative energy sources in the past year, including completing a 50-megawatt wind farm near the McKee Refinery in the Texas Panhandle and investing in companies developing technologies to produce cellulosic ethanol, bio-fuel from plant material, algae and animal fat, and a synthetic gasoline from landfill waste. Once operational, the Thomaston plant will create up to 10 engineering jobs in research and development at API’s Atlanta office. The remaining jobs created will be based in Thomaston. ’I proudly welcome Diamond Alternative Energy and API as our newest corporate citizens, and look forward to the positive economic impact this new facility will have for our area,’ said Thomaston Mayor Hays Arnold. ‘The City of Thomaston wishes these companies great success and looks forward to seeing them achieve their goals and enjoy a bright and prosperous future as part of our community.’ In addition to the partnership between Valero Energy Corp. and API, this project also represents a collaborative effort between state and local governments, and the Thomaston-Upson County Industrial Development Authority. ”This has been a real fine team effort between state, city, and county governments to welcome this new business to Thomaston and Upson County,’ said Neil Hightower, chairman of the Thomaston-Upson County Industrial Development Authority. ‘I am confident Diamond Alternative Energy and API will find that Thomaston and Upson County is a great place to do business.” About Valero Energy Corporation Valero Energy Corporation is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio with approximately 21,000 employees. The company operates 15 refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 2.8 million barrels per day. Valero is also a leading ethanol producer with seven ethanol plants in the Midwest with a combined capacity of 780 million gallons per year, and is one of the nation’s largest retail operators with approximately 5,800 retail and branded wholesale outlets in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean under the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock, Ultramar, and Beacon brands. Please visit http://www.valero.comfor more information. About American Process, Inc. Since 1994, API has been a leading provider of energy and water conservation engineering services. Since 2004, API has developed several advanced technology suites for the production of cellulosic ethanol in integrated biorefineries. With several integrated biorefinery projects underway and many patents pending, API is a leader in the effort to reduce America’s dependence on foreign energy through the production of advanced biofuels. Recently API received an $18 million DOE advanced biofuels grant and a $4 million state grant for the construction of an integrated biorefinery in Alpena, MI. API is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and maintains offices in Greece and Romania. Please visit

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