Cabinet for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 25, 2007  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Project represents first to utilize Kentucky’s new Energy Independence Act


FRANKFORT, Ky. Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Executive Cabinet Secretary Robbie Rudolph and Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary John Hindman joined Alltech President and Founder Dr. Pearse Lyons at a press conference today to announce the company’s plans to construct a 10-million gallon, self-sustaining biorefinery in Washington County. 


The $40 million project, which is the first of its kind to be awarded incentives under Kentucky’s new Incentives for Energy Independence Act (IEIA), could potentially create 93 new, high-wage jobs in the state. Governor Fletcher led the effort to pass legislation allowing the state to offer inducements for alternative fuel facilities, gasification facilities and renewable energy facilities.


The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Alltech for tax benefits up to $8 million under IEIA.  The new incentive program was contained in House Bill 1, passed during the Second Extraordinary Session of the 2007 Kentucky General Assembly.


“The purpose of this program is to move the commonwealth to the forefront of national efforts to achieve energy independence by reducing the state’s reliance on imported energy resources,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Today’s approval represents an important step in making this a reality.”


The facility is part of Alltech’s rural community integrated biorefinery project, the first such model in North America that integrates feed, food and fuel production.  It is designed to validate the feasibility of commercializing an environmentally-sound, integrated process to convert a potentially wide range of feedstocks to ethanol and other vendible products. 


“This plant goes beyond a typical ethanol facility by utilizing Alltech’s existing expertise in the area of Solid State Fermentation,” said Governor Fletcher.  “It will enable Alltech to take fiber left from corn after producing ethanol and convert it into a usable product.  This is the kind of facility we envisioned when drafting Kentucky’s Incentives for Energy Independence Act.”


In addition to the planned ethanol production, the facility is also anticipated to produce approximately 35,000 tons of distiller’s grain annually, which will become a component of animal feed.  Any carbon dioxide produced will be further processed and sold into industrial markets. 


Feedstock for the facility will consist of approximately 72,000 tons of corn and 32,000 tons of lignocellulose per year.  Lignocellulose is comprised of corn cobs, husks and other traditional waste material from corn.  The corn feedstock necessary for the plant will come from 11 surrounding counties.


“This has enormous implications not only for our farmers, but for all people as it signifies a fundamental shift in not just energy dependence but energy security,” said Dr. Lyons.  “Alltech is committed to the future of agriculture and making Kentucky a national leader in that area, and this incentive represents a big step toward making that happen.”


As part of the project’s research component, Alltech will coordinate research and development activities with the University of Kentucky and the University of Cincinnati.  Researchers will work to identify and address process improvements, develop economically and environmentally sound technologies, as well as use process simulation to reduce raw material costs and optimize energy utilization. 


“Dr. Pearse Lyons has a vision for Kentucky that is truly amazing,” said Washington County Judge-Executive John A. Settles.  “The fact that he has chosen Washington County as the first rural biorefinery will have tremendous impact locally by creating a significant number of jobs, diversifying our economy and promoting and maintaining our agricultural heritage.”


Springfield and Washington County support Alltech’s efforts in locating a biorefinery in Springfield,” said Springfield Mayor John W. Cecconi.  “Alltech’s technology is not limited to a single process but has multiple programs it can adhere to.  A project of this scale is just the tip of the iceberg for Dr. Lyons’ future planning for Kentucky.  Not only will this type of project help Springfield and Washington County, but it will be a major help to the farming communities of Kentucky.”


Alltech, headquartered in Nicholasville, Kentucky, is one of the leading animal health companies in the world.  The company was founded in 1980 by Dr. Lyons, a scientist who envisaged using natural yeast fermentation and natural enzyme technology as the driving force for providing new alternative technologies for the animal feed industry.  Today Alltech is growing at a rate of 25 percent annually and has a current turnover of $300 million.


A community profile for Washington County can be found at:



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The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2006 totaled more than $3.4 billion with the creation of over 18,500 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at