CORBIN, Ky. (AP) — A biofuel company is planning to build a new plant in southern Kentucky that would convert sugar beets into fuel over the next two years if it can get approval from the state.

Patriot Bioenergy Corp., which has an office in Williamsburg, wants to locate the facility in Whitley County if the infrastructure is built and the Kentucky Economic Development or Energy Incentives boards approve of the project.

Patriot's CEO Roger Ford told The Times-Tribune ( that the company would use natural gas to spark the process in a similar fashion to a distillery getting alcohol from sugar.

Patriot has had more than 20 acres of energy beets growing throughout Whitley County to test growing conditions with field trials on the energy beets going on since the spring 2011. This spring, field trials were expanded by Patriot in Whitley and Adair counties.

"This is not new technology, but has been in use for hundreds of years," Ford said. "We will be the first plant in the country when we get this built that uses a dedicated feed stock of sugar beets, but they have been doing this in Europe for a number of years."


Information from: The Times-Tribune,