Norwell, Mass. – BioEnergy International LLC, a science and technology company committed to developing biorefineries to produce fuels and specialty chemicals from renewable resources, announced Monday the closing of a major investment that will provide funding for the company’s three strategic initiatives: generating secure cash flow from its conventional ethanol platform, product diversification through the introduction of novel biocatalysts for the manufacture of green chemicals and biopolymers and the integration of its cellulose technology.
The $61.6 million investment was provided by a team including Plainfield Asset Management, Camulos Capital, Itera Ethanol LLC and Context Capital Management. In addition to refinancing existing corporate debt, the financing will provide funding for BioEnergy’s projects in Pennsylvania and Louisiana, as well as growth capital for the company’s expansion of existing research and development efforts and initiatives.
“We have spent a great deal of time focusing on risk management issues and are pleased that we can now launch with the first fully contracted ethanol plant in the marketplace,” said Stephen J. Gatto, chairman and CEO of BioEnergy.
The funding will provide the project equity requirements for BioEnergy’s 108-million-gallon-per-year ethanol project located in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.
BioEnergy is currently finalizing development of the Clearfield project, with necessary permits expected to be received in September. The company previously received a commitment from Gov. Edward G. Rendell and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for over $22 million of state investments to support the project, as well as an additional commitment for $5 million for the construction of a cellulosic pilot plant utilizing BioEnergy’s proprietary technology.
“Our expanded investor group provides us with a strong foundation that will support all of the company’s long term objectives, as well as allow us to finish our near term initiatives,” said Gatto. “We’re very excited about working together to realize the company’s vision in advancing our renewable bio-based products and materials efforts.”
“On behalf of the investors, we are happy to provide the growth capital to help BioEnergy realize its important mission,” said Panos Ninios, managing director of Plainfield Asset Management. “We were drawn to BioEnergy’s strategic vision and unique capabilities in assuming a leadership role in the emerging biorefinery sector.”
In addition to advancing BioEnergy’s ethanol projects, the funding will provide important capital for the company’s science and technology efforts. BioEnergy has an exclusive research agreement with the University of Florida and Dr. Lonnie Ingram to develop technologies to produce green chemicals and biopolymers from sugars and cellulose, and late last year signed an agreement to license one of its proprietary biocatalysts for the production of D(-) lactic acid to Purac Biochem N.V.