Nova Pangea Technologies, the UK cleantech company at the heart of the Net Zero transition, has launched the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study for its first commercial plant in the UK. Aemetis, Gevo, USA BioEnergy, DG Fuels and others also announced feedstock deals, loans, initial engineering design and projects that are ramping up and moving to commercialization. It’s an exciting level of progress that gives us insight into the evolution of the bioeconomy.
In today’s Digest, a look at some of the latest companies like Nova Pangea, Aemetis, World Energy, Gevo, USA BioEnergy, Sherdar Australia Bio Refinery, DG Fuels and Sweetwater are progressing towards their first commercial projects, agreements, loans, etc .
Let’s start with the latest from Nova Pangea Technologies, the UK cleantech company at the heart of the Net Zero transition, which has launched the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study for its first commercial plant in the UK. This is an important next step towards building factories and commercial production.
The company, based in Redcar on Teesside, has developed proprietary technology (REFNOVA) that converts biomass, such as forestry and agricultural residues, into sustainable sugars and biochar. NPT’s technology will help reduce dependence on fossil fuels for a wide range of applications, paving the way for decarbonization in sectors such as transport (sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)) and industrial applications such as green steel.
Once completed, the FEED study will confirm the design that will enable NPT to transition to continuous operation of the plant, resulting in the annual production of 10,000 tons of sustainable biocarbons and 6 million liters of bioethanol that can then be used for FAS.
Sarah Ellerby, CEO, said: “The FEED study will be completed in April, after which we will begin detailed engineering design and construction. We expect to be operational in the first quarter of next year with bioethanol production in the second quarter. With very little non-food bioethanol in the world, this is quite a feat for NPT and the UK’s supply chain and net zero agenda more broadly. We hope to make further announcements regarding site location and partners soon.”
As just announced today in The Digest, Aemetis has entered into two new lower interest rate credit facilities with aggregate availability of up to $100 million, including up to $50 million for projects producing low-carbon renewable products and up to $50 million for working capital. .
The credit facilities are expected to fund Aemetis’ projects that reduce the carbon intensity of renewable fuels, including a zero-carbon solar panel and extensive electrification upgrades to plant processing equipment of Keyes ethanol, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel. plant and carbon sequestration facilities.
The new credit facilities are expected to provide the remaining financing required for the engineering and licensing of Aemetis’ Carbon Zero renewable diesel and aircraft plant in Riverbank, California prior to the completion of the debt financing of the project. Aemetis has invested more than $32 million in cash and grants in the renewable diesel and aircraft plant.
Let’s not forget news from India that Aemetis’ Universal Biofuels subsidiary in Kakinada, India has agreed to acquire a site to build a tallow oil refining facility. The refining facility is designed to supply feedstock to Aemetis’ existing 50 million gallon per year biodiesel plant located on India’s east coast and will provide feedstock supply in the future of Aemetis’ 90 million gallon sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel plant under construction in Riverbank, California. .
And how about the news that Aemetis, Inc. has signed an offtake agreement with Japan Airlines for 90 million gallons of sustainable blended aviation fuel to be delivered over the 7 year term of the agreement. The blended sustainable aviation fuel to be supplied under this agreement is 40% SAF and 60% Petroleum Jet A to meet international blending standards.
And in switching to biogas, Aemetis Biogas has completed an additional seven-mile underground pipeline to transport biogas from five new dairy digesters to the centralized renewable natural gas upgrading facility located at the Aemetis Keyes biofuels plant. Including the four miles of biogas pipeline commissioned at the end of 2020, Aemetis has now installed over 11 miles of pipeline and is on track to complete the 36-mile biogas pipeline network in 2022.
It’s no wonder Aemetis is driving the bioeconomy forward – have you seen its latest five-year plan? Just last week they unveiled their 2022 five-year plan which projects the company will generate $1.5 billion in revenue and $461 million in adjusted EBITDA in 2026. The revenue plan reflects a rate of expected compound annual growth of 39% and the EBITDA plan reflects a projected compound annual growth rate of 79% for the years 2022 to 2026.
Vertimass and global energy
Not to be outdone, in the United States, Vertimass and World Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the development and application of Vertimass Technologies to produce renewable fuels, including sustainable aviation fuel. World Energy is investigating the integration of Vertimass proprietary alcohol with renewable fuel technologies for the production of SAF, biomass-based diesel, green gasoline, renewable naphtha and other renewable fuel products.
Through this agreement, the two companies will jointly develop alcohol-to-hydrocarbon conversion projects using Vertimass technology. World Energy may subsequently license the Vertimass technology for commercial production.
In Iowa, Gevo has begun the process of bringing its wholly-owned dairy manure-based renewable natural gas project online. Located in northwest Iowa, the project is known as Gevo NW Iowa RNG, LLC and is expected to produce approximately 355,000 MMBtu of RNG per year.
Let’s not forget Kolmar and Gevo’s bankable fuel supply agreement for 45 million gallons per year (on a net basis) of energy-dense renewable liquid hydrocarbons to be produced from the second facility of Gevo’s Net-Zero production, Net-Zero 2. Kolmar is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kolmar Group AG which is a private service provider, manufacturer and distributor of renewable fuels headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.
Check out “1 Billion Gallons Per Year by 2030: The Digest’s 2021 Multi-Slide Guide to Gevo” here to learn how they are working to achieve 1 billion gallons of low fossil carbon hydrocarbons or more per year d 2030.
Bioenergy in the United States
Just a few weeks ago, the excitement was hard to contain with $3.4 billion for Newton County, Texas, as USA BioEnergy sets up its first commercial biorefinery for its Advanced Renewable Fuels Project. The company expects the project to be completed by the end of 2025.
Ultimately, the company aims to deliver more than 100 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel to LAX annually. They will achieve this by capturing the CO2 in our process and then sequestering it in permanent deep geological storage. This gives them, the company says, “the lowest carbon intensity score in the industry. We do this as part of our mission to achieve our environmental, social and corporate governance goals and strive to achieve them globally to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all,” said Nick Andrews, CEO, USA BioEnergy.
Sherdar Australia Bio Refinery
There was also news from below from Sherdar Australia Bio Refinery Pty Ltd. and their plans to develop a commercial-scale renewable diesel processing and storage facility. When fully operational, the facility aims to produce 500,000 metric tons per year of renewable fuels with lower carbon emissions than conventional fossil fuels. This will position Australia as one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of renewable fuels, which supports the Australian Government’s policy to forge a sustainable future. Sherdar is currently in the final stages of government engineering discussions and is receiving relevant approvals for the project.
Although this one happened a few months ago, it should be noted that an unusual suspect became more visible when he learned that DG Fuels had been asked to submit a loan guarantee application under part II of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program. . If successful, the proposed $2.15 billion DOE loan guarantee would accelerate the scale-up of the proposed sustainable aviation fuel project.
The first commercial-scale project is in Louisiana and it’s a doozy. It is expected to create approximately 633 new permanent union operating jobs and up to 2,100 construction jobs over three years. Expect it to be in the parish of St. James on a site of over 500 acres. If fully expanded, the initial facility is expected to have an SAF production capacity of approximately 151 million gallons per year.
Check out “4.25 Barrels of SAF per Ton of Biomass: The Digest’s 2021 Multi-Slide Guide to DG Fuels” here.
While all eyes have been on Ukraine lately, there is some good news that has come from another former USSR republic and Ukraine’s northern neighbor above Belarus and Latvia – Estonia. US-based Sweetwater Energy has received final acceptance of its first commercial Sunburst unit on the Sweetwoods project in Estonia, proving that Sunburst has met all criteria, including power consumption, throughput and product quality. You can get the exclusive Digest interview with Sweetwater CEO Arunas Chesonis, details about Estonia-based Sweetwoods consortium lead company Fibenol, plans for the future, and more here.
While it’s harder to find good news these days, there’s some pretty exciting optimism and commercialization developments in the bioeconomy that we can’t ignore. And if you’re considering applying for federal funding for a commercial-scale bioeconomy project, check out Bill Hagy’s recent article that shares insider tips to guide you through the maze of commercial funding here. Either way, these are exciting times in the bioeconomy with advances in commercialization occurring frequently enough to give us hope for the future of the planet and people.