Waste Management invests in ethanol plant
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Waste Management, Inc. has closed an equity investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. whereby WM has agreed to a secured loan facility that provides for WM’s funding of up to $70 million for Fulcrum’s proposed Sierra BioFuels plant upon the satisfaction of certain conditions. The parties also entered into a master project development agreement to collaborate on the joint development of Fulcrum projects in various locations throughout the U.S. using municipal solid waste supplied by subsidiaries of Waste Management under long-term feedstock agreements.
“This investment underpins our commitment to supporting innovative technologies that extract the value in waste and converts it into clean renewable energy,” says Joe Vaillancourt, managing director for WM’s Organic Growth Group. “We look forward to the development of Fulcrum’s commercial-scale plant that is designed to convert over one hundred thousand tons of waste a year into clean, renewable transportation fuel.”
Says Fulcrum president and CEO E. James Macias, “We’re excited to enter this strategic relationship with Waste Management that enhances our financial resources and provides access to additional feedstock. This allows us to expand our national development program that includes projects with the total capacity to produce more than one billion gallons of fuel annually. Waste Management joins a list of strategic partners that share our vision for turning waste into clean, domestic, advanced biofuels.”
As Macias explains, Fulcrum is deploying an innovative proprietary system to convert post-recycled MSW into advanced biofuels. Beginning with a thermochemical gasification system that converts the MSW into a syngas, Fulcrum has developed a proprietary alcohol synthesis process that efficiently and economically converts the syngas into advanced biofuels.
Fulcrum recently began construction activities on its Sierra BioFuels plant, located in Storey County, approximately 20 miles east of Reno, NV. The plant is expected to begin commercial operations in the second half of 2013 and is designed to process 147,000 tons of waste per year and produce approximately 10 million gallons of ethanol annually. Waste Management of Nevada has previously committed in a separate feedstock agreement to supply the Sierra BioFuels plant with post-sorted MSW.