From staff reports
CHICAGO — Enerkem Inc., a leading waste-to-biofuels and chemicals company based in Canada, announced today an additional $60 million in financing for its Pontotoc, Mississippi plant, on which the company expects to break ground later this year.
The plant will be located within the Three Rivers Landfill and convert trash to methanol and ethanol. If finished before a similar Enerkem plant in Canada, it will be the first large, commercial-scale plant in the world to produce ethanol from garbage.
The Pontotoc plant will produce 10 million gallons of biofuels per year. Typical plants of this size cost approximately $80 million to $90 million, Enerkem said.
The Mississippi Development Authority is working to finish a Memorandum of Understanding with the company and would not disclose details.
Enerkem said the project is “eligible for financial support under current state programs — infrastructure support, for example, tax incentives, work force training, things of that nature.”
Additional financing will come from a $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The USDA has also awarded Enerkem a conditional commitment for an $80 million loan guaranteed.
As part of the additional $60 million in financing, Valero Energy Corp. has joined existing investors Waste Management, Rho Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures and Cycle Capital, who have each invested in the new equity round.
Valero, an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels, other petrochemical products and power, has invested in 10 ethanol plants throughout the Midwest.
“With Valero joining Waste Management as a strategic investor, Enerkem becomes one of the very few renewable products companies that is aligned with industry leaders from both upstream and downstream parts of the business,” said Vincent Chornet, president and chief executive officer of Enerkem, in a statement.
Founded in 2000, Canada-based Enerkem has one demonstration project operating in Quebec that produces syngas from the treated wood of old telephone poles. It also has a pilot facility that produces ethanol.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info