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Houston-based company planning $100 million plant in St. Martinville that would use sugar cane waste to make ethanol

A front-end loader moves bagasse at the Cor-Texas sugar mill.

Louisiana’s sugarcane industry has a $3 billion impact on the state’s economy. The cane stalk is ground and squeezed forcing the plant to give up its juice to make sugar. Bagasse, the fibrous leftover of the plant, is burned to create energy in the steam boilers that power the mill. But not all the bagasse can be used and must be stored at considerable cost to the mill. Several firms are trying to figure out the best way to use bagasse as a fuel, food additive or ethanol.

Advocate reporter Kristen Mosbrucker filed this story in the September 29, 2019 edition of the newspaper.

“Praj Industries, a publicly traded bioenergy engineering business with headquarters in India, is laying the foundation for a $100 million plant in Louisiana that would use sugar cane bagasse as a fuel and raw material for making ethanol.

The project, which could still be three years out, is driven by its U.S. subsidiary in Houston, Praj Americas, in partnership with Miami-based Omega Energy USA as the developer. The companies said bagasse, the waste from sugar cane, will come from a sugar mill operated by the Louisiana Sugar Cane Cooperative, or LASUCA, in St. Martinville.”


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