SunOpta’s Ethanol Edge

Article Excerpt

SUNOPTA INC. $12.86 (Toronto symbol SOY; SI Rating: Speculative) (905-455-2528; www.sunopta.com; Shares outstanding: 57.6 million; Market cap: $806.7 million) hopes to benefit from the focus on the commercial deployment of cellulosic ethanol announced in President Bush’s State of the Union Address. The new Renewable Fuels Standard will mandate production of 35 billion gallons of biofuel by 2017, a five-fold increase. In addition, the new Farm Bill will include $2 billion for funding of cellulosic ethanol plants. SunOpta’s BioProcess division engineers and sells proprietary steam explosion technology systems that use high heat and pressure to convert biomass such as sugar cane pulp, wood chips and straw into useful components such as ethanol. These waste products are much cheaper and more plentiful than the corn or fresh sugar cane typically used to produce ethanol. The availability of corn as an ethanol feedstock is expected to limit production of ethanol to a maximum 15 billion gallons per year. This makes technology such as Sun-Opta’s, which…

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