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Raleigh-Based Firm Plans 20 Bio-Renewable Fuel Facilities

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Agri-Ethanol Products

, which is already building a $150 million ethanol alternative fuel plant in Beaufort County, has secured enough financing to build as many as 20 renewable fuel facilities, the Raleigh-based company said Wednesday.

"At least two" additional facilities will be built in North Carolina, Agri-Ethanol Products (AEP) said.

Neither the amount of the financing nor the firm providing the funding was disclosed.

Company officials were traveling Wednesday and unavailable for comment.

AEP focuses on renewable energy development by utilizing ethanol and other bio-renewable energy products.

Each of the 20 or so plants will employ 65 people and generate some $318 million in immediate economic development, the company said.

Additionally, AEP is expanding its headquarters staff in Raleigh with plans to hire additional engineering and administrative personnel. Dave Brady, the chief executive officer of AEP, described the financing company as "a substantial, international company of world wide acclaim".

The company has retained Sites Plus, LLC to help with site selection. Each plant site will require 160 acres of land, AEP said. It is considering sites stretching from the Gulf States to New York.

AEP's facility in Beaufort County is located near the town of Aurora. It is the first ethanol plant to be built on the East Coast, according to AEP. The plant will employ more than 70 people. Production capacity will consume more than 20 million bushels of grain per year.

Plans to build the Aurora plant were announced in December.

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