A few weeks ago, Attis Innovations – a technology company focused on the development and production of next-generation advanced biofuels, biobased carbon fiber and plastics – finalized a $20 million acquisition of Sunoco’s ethanol plant outside Fulton.

It’s an investment in a strong and vibrant community that we’re proud to make and one that will play a major role in not only our company’s future but also that of the local economy and the state.

While New York is not traditionally perceived to be a center of corn ethanol production, Attis sees enormous potential to produce clean domestic fuels at lower costs in the nation’s fourth largest fuel market.

Attis has a longstanding relationship with the plant and its employees and will carry on a partnership with Sunoco to distribute and market the plant’s renewable fuels. That relationship goes beyond the facility,  too. The 100 million gallon ethanol plant sources the vast majority of its corn feedstock locally and Attis is committed to preserving that connection to local farmers and our new community

The ethanol produced there also emits 20 percent fewer emissions than gasoline, helping New York meet its ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring cleaner skies for New Yorkers.

But Attis’ plans go far further.

We expect to add up to 100 skilled jobs over the next two years as part of a $139 million investment program. These resources will go towards modernizing the facility and, over time, integrating it into a state-of-the-art green tech campus to showcase Attis’ innovative technologies for processing biomass more efficiently and sustainably.

Using our company’s proprietary processes, we plan to increase manufacturing efficiency at the plant, producing more biofuel and biobased products with fewer emissions and at greater profits. Indeed, Attis is planning to implement its groundbreaking technology to convert local forest biomass – like timber, underbrush, and sawdust – into a full range of ultra-efficient fuels, bioplastics, natural adhesives and carbon fiber at the facility.

This presents an incredible opportunity for upstate New York, increasing property values for rural forest landowners, providing steady income to sustainable forestry operations, and incentivizing good forest management practices. It can help create new profit incentives for local farmers and rural landowners to maintain healthy forests and grow sustainable short rotation tree crops like willow alongside more traditional crops like corn.

Taken together, these investments in our energy future will generate local economic activity, job creation and critical tax revenues.

Attis is already collaborating with industry leaders like Novozymes – a multi-billion-dollar biotechnology company – to deploy innovative enzymes designed to maximize sugar conversion from cellulose. The goal is to commercially produce low-cost, cellulosic fuels that will help meet ambitious federal and state mandates for renewable energy production such as the Renewable Fuel Standard and Governor Cuomo’s recently announced Pathway to Carbon Neutrality.

Our propriety process that enables the production of cost-effective biofuels can also be used to produce a full range of biobased products utilizing a broad array of other rapidly renewable sources like woody biomass, forestry waste and agricultural residues. It means real, positive benefits for our environment and new opportunities for rural and agricultural areas across Upstate New York.

Building on Attis’s diversified and focused sustainability approach, the Volney plant will also continue its beer-making heritage as a former Miller Brewing Co. plant that includes the famed 1886 Malt House. The facility can produce about 2,000 tons of malted barley each year and act as a crucial link between farms and breweries as a proud part of New York’s $4 billion craft brewing industry.

We intend to be a significant contributor and partner to the community and its economic future. A tangible investment in this kind of unique research-focused facility will do more than just contribute dollars and cents – it will help attract new talent and foster business innovation. Upstate New York has a proud agricultural heritage. It’s one of the things that drew us to this region and we’re exited to play our part in creating new markets for local farmers.

Through these collaborative efforts, big investments, and a commitment to being good stewards in the communities where we’re privileged to work, invest and grow, we will – together – continue to create solutions that improve our environment and help American consumers, starting right here in Fulton with a new life for a historic facility.

Jeff Cosman is Chairman and CEO of Attis Industries Inc. Attis Innovations is a a division focused on developing the next generation of renewable fuels and bio-based products. Visit www.attisind.com to learn more.

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