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Seneca BioEnergy awarded $750k Retore NY grant

ROMULUS, NY (Nov. 22, 2010) ­ Seneca BioEnergy, LLC has been awarded a Restore New York grant of $750,000 for infrastructure improvements to its renovated warehouses at the former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus. Michael Coia, CEO of the company, announced the grant today. Coupled with a Restore New York grant of $1.5 million to the New York State Electric & Gas Corp. (NYSEG) that will go for electrical upgrades at the company’s depot site, the news is positive as the company moves forward on development of a green energy complex, Coia said. “Seneca BioEnergy seeks to support both energy and agriculture in ways that will serve and protect our environment in the future,” Coia said. “We plan to use agricultural crops to create renewable energy and other products in environmentally friendly ways, and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” he added. When its operations are completely under way, Seneca BioEnergy’s products will include soybean and canola oil, agricultural meal, grape seed oil, biodiesel and biomass, vineyard waste management and manufactured soils. Also, Seneca BioEnergy plans to lease space at its complex to other companies and its first tenant, Top Quality Hay Processors, has started its innovative hay drying operation. Coia said Seneca BioEnergy reached agreement last week with Seneca Falls Savings Bank on financing of the Restore New York funding. “Seneca Bio and Top Quality have developed innovative business models uniquely fitted to the Finger Lakes region,” said Menzo Case, President of Seneca Falls Savings Bank. ³Offering bridge financing was an easy decision and is in keeping with the Bank’s objective of meeting both individual and business needs.” Seneca BioEnergy also is working with the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency to begin operations in 2011 at the depot facility. With the focus on starting operations, the company is planning the following infrastructure improvements: Boosting the water flow capacity to support the manufacturing operations of the two businesses at the site and maintenance of fire suppression sprinkler systems in the occupied portions of the two buildings. Improving shipping and receiving for loading and unloading of agricultural materials, including a truck scale and weigh station, and shipment of products. Seneca BioEnergy and Top Quality Hay previously delivered an improved electrical supply to the warehouses and natural gas utility service along with water connections and minor construction. The building restoration will continue with lighting and structural upgrades to support manufacturing, installation of employee offices and bathrooms within the warehouse space, installation of trucking delivery doors and completion of HVAC systems. Seneca BioEnergy recently completed a pilot project in the processing of grape waste pomace and production of grape seed oil. The company also has started a pilot program that will produce soybean oil and soybean meal, and will refine the soy oil into biodiesel for sale as a local biofuel. “The Seneca BioEnergy facility is the anchor site for other redevelopment at the Depot,” Coia said. “We want to fill our park with green energy companies and environmentally-sustainable agribusinesses that will support the new economy.”

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