Muleshoe lands ethanol plant

CNJ staff

DALLAS — A Dallas-based energy company announced Wednesday intentions to build a 100-million-gallon-per-year biomass-fueled ethanol plant northwest of Muleshoe, according to a company press release.

Panda Ethanol officials said the proposed facility will generate the steam used in the ethanol manufacturing process by gasifying more than 1 billion pounds of cattle manure a year.

The refinery will be located on a 305-acre site eight miles northwest of Muleshoe. Construction will take approximately 18 months. The completion date is dependent upon financing, regulatory approvals and other conditions, according to company officials.

Panda intends to submit its request for an air permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality this week, officials said.

“This facility will have a tremendous economic development impact on Muleshoe and Bailey County by providing many jobs in several areas and by nearly doubling our tax base,” said Janet Claborn, director of economic development for the Muleshoe Economic Development Corp. “This is ‘value-added’ for our agricultural community and a natural fit for our dairies and feed yards.”

When finished, the facility will annually refine approximately 38 million bushels of corn into ethanol, which is a fuel additive, Panda officials said.

Bailey County Judge Sherri Harrison said Panda representatives have been actively involved in the community since the beginning of the site selection process.

“They have proven to be good neighbors in working with the Muleshoe community to bring ethanol production to Bailey County. This is a great opportunity for Bailey County, and it has been exciting to work with Panda in locating the project here.”

ConAgra Trade Group has proposed a 110-million-gallon-a-year ethanol plant near Clovis. The company and its partners are applying for an air quality permit from the New Mexico Environment Department.