A four-year effort to boost North Carolina's agriculture with a wave of field-grown alternative fuel stocks may be close to paying off.
An Italian company's Wilmington-based subsidiary is geared up to build a factory that can convert grassy plants into fuel for cars and trucks amid Sampson County's hog and turkey growers.
Chemtex International has picked a site that takes advantage of the smelly concentration of industrial-scale hog farming operations. The idea is it can get a relatively cheap, abundant supply as hog farmers grow fuel plants on land used to absorb the dirty but nutrient-rich water from their waste-holding lagoons.
The Biofuels Center of North Carolina projects profits for both the ethanol-maker and pork producers in Duplin, Sampson and Wayne counties now using nearly 100,000 acres as sprayfields.