Firm’s shares up on ethanol news

From Times Wire Services

Shares of Pacific Ethanol Inc., which counts Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates among its shareholders, surged after the company was selected by the U.S. Energy Department to receive a $24.32-million grant to build a cellulosic ethanol refinery.

The Sacramento company gained 64 cents, or 11.5%, to $6.21.

The company will build a 2.7-million-gallon distillery in Boardman, Ore., where it already has a refinery.

Cellulosic ethanol uses nonfood crops as a feedstock rather than corn.