When I mention the word sugar cane, what comes to mind? Do you imagine the sweet taste of cane juice running down your chin as you chew it? Do you imagine that luxurious cane syrup flowing down a stack of pancakes? Do you imagine that awful smell that fills the air during harvest season? Or maybe sugar cane makes you think of "black snowflakes" falling on your car when the fields are getting burned?

You could have shared any or all of those thoughts about one of Louisiana's leading agricultural products but I bet you didn't think of this one. Sugar cane as an alternative fuel source?

USDA.gov

Delta Biofuel is reportedly looking into establishing a $70 million dollar renewable fuel plant in Iberia Parish and the commodity they need to produce their finished product is sugar cane.

The plant is broken down into its fibers and when converted into pellets these fibers, called bagasse, become a renewable source of energy. In fact, there is a rather large demand for bagasse in Europe and in Asia. The fuel source is coveted because it's very efficient, it's inexpensive, and it has a very low carbon footprint.

Yesterday Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Delta Biofuel CEO Philip Keating made the announcement that the company, Delta Biofuel, is exploring and evaluating property in Iberia Parish to build a renewable fuel plant.

Based on information created by LEDA, such a facility would create 126 new direct jobs for the Acadiana area. Those jobs would lead to an additional 149 indirect jobs. The construction of the facility would also employ about 100 workers for that task.

Should the plans come to fruition, Delta Biofuel will secure agreements with sugar mills from Iberia, St. Mary, and St. Martin Parishes to use their excess bagasse for the manufacture of fuel pellets. The company reportedly has secured multi-year commitments from buyers in Asia and Europe to purchase the pellets as an alternative form of energy.

The proposed site for the new plant would be near U.S. Highway 90 very near Jeanerette and close to the Enterprise Sugar Mill.

All this talk about sugar cane has activated my sweet tooth. Do you remember any of these treats?

Candy From Elementary School Years