Home | About NEO Magazine
June 2008

Greek-American hopes to make the largest investment in Greece in a quarter of a century

According to revised statements to NEO by Mr. James Kakridas, President of Cal West Investment Corporation, Cal West and Renew Energy hope to be awarded the bid to convert two sugar factories in Larissa and Xanthi, Greece, to Biofuel Ethanol. Total Investment for the two plants will be about $200 million Euros (apx. 300 million dollars) in what constitutes the largest U.S. Investment in Greece in the last 25 years.

According to James Kakridas, President of Cal West Investment Corp. that spearheaded the process for the past 24 months, “the two plants will process about 200,000 MT of corn that presently is used to feed livestock and will produce about 60 million gallons ethanol, food grade corn oil, food grade co2, and still provide animal food at an even lower price. The ethanol will be blended with the gasoline as an oxygenated additive that will reduce carbon monoxide to the environment.”

Renew Energy owns and operates two state-of-the-art plants in Wisconsin, producing over 200 million gallons per year. They apply the most advanced technology in Fractionation, a process by which a kernel of corn is split in 3 parts: the middle part is used for ethanol, the outside part for food grade corn oil and the bottom part for germ. Out of nine final approved bidders, some of the biggest corporations in Europe and Greece, two were left, Motor Oil Hellas and Renew Energy to which finally the project might be awarded.

“The US consortium hopes to win on the high technology issue,” said Kakridas. “It will be in a partnership with EBZ (Sugar Industry Corp. which operates three other sugar plants in Greece), with the U.S. consortium holding 65% and the management and EBZ holding 35%. ATE BANK (Agriculture Bank of Greece) is holding 85% of the shares of EBZ.

Renew Energy operates its own gas stations in Wisconsin that also sell E-85 (85% ethanol 15% gasoline) and which is approximately $1.00 cheaper that regular gas. It will introduce E-85 in Greece, (it costs less than regular gasoline) by first make it available to trucks and busses, as more manufacturers in Europe are producing this type of vehicles that use regular gas and E-85. A small electronic device is added so that the engine can detect if the fuel is gas or E-85 and change the mixture.

According to James Kakridas who emigrated from Greece and holds development projects in California, “this is a win-win project for Greece. The two plants will employ about 150 to 200 people per unit. On 24/7 basis operation they will support the local economy, they will provide price support for farmers, plus thousands more jobs throughout the economy in sales, marketing and transporting of the byproducts, less dependence on imported oil, cleaner environment. Greece will not have to import about 3,000,000 barrels of oil, saving more than $ 400,000,000.00 a year.”

With the EU mandate on blending Ethanol with gas throughout Europe, opportunity exists for expanding to more European Countries. Technology is under development in the U.S. that will produce biofuels from other biomasses.

Regarding the notion that biofuels are increasing the cost of food, James Kakridas thinks the opposite is true. “The cost of food is increasing because of the cost of oil. In the U.S. corn production last year was over 12 billion bushels and just two billion were used for ethanol. Besides, if ethanol has caused price increases in the U.S., why have food prices doubled in Europe, where ethanol in its infancy?”

It could also partly compensate for outsourcing US jobs to China and India, due to high costs here, in the US. “Look what the high price for oil has done: shutting down companies, eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs, threatening to destroy the American economy and the rest of the world and bring pain and suffering to the American people. At least ethanol is creating jobs and relieves the pain at the gas pump. Talk to the people in the Midwest. E-85 (85% ethanol 15% gasoline) that is used by hundreds of thousands of cars, it’s selling about $1.00 less per gallon.”

According to Mr. Kakridas, “instead of bashing ethanol we should support it so that we can save billions of dollars in importing oil and put that money back into the American economy. It’s also a form of clean energy. Nothing is polluting this earth more that fossil fuels. And although it can’t replace them completely, it can make a difference for sure!”

Sponsored links

Home | About NEO Magazine

web stats tracker