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The Associated Press June 2, 2010, 3:46PM ET

ZeaChem breaks ground on cellulosic ethanol plant

A Lakewood, Colo.-based company is marking the groundbreaking of a $73 million biorefinery in Boardman, Ore., that will turn poplar trees into cellulosic ethanol.

ZeaChem Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the demonstration plant, which would use hybrid poplars and other feedstock to produce up to 250,000 gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol. It also would produce acetic acid and ethyl acetate, which is used in paint and nail polish. Ethanol production is expected to start next year.

ZeaChem says building and operating the pilot plant will create 95 direct jobs and 197 indirect jobs. The company received $25 million in stimulus money from the Department of Energy for the biorefinery.

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