“When they started to build the plant, they did admit the challenge here was trying to see how economically viable it could be,” he said. “I think they’ve seen it was a tougher nut to crack than they’d hoped.”
But Hart said the plant wasn’t a failure because it was waiting for the technology to translate to production.
He points to grain ethanol, which he said had similar issues in scaling up when it was an emerging sector and took decades to become viable. Given the time, cellulosic ethanol could catch up, he said.
“It shows that it takes time to develop cost-effective technology on the fuels side, and that’s sort of the challenge here,” he said.