January 13, 2015

Pacific Ethanol Stockton Plant to Install Cogeneration Technology

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. announced its agreement with Dresser-Rand to install a 3.5 megawatt cogeneration system with gradual oxidizer at its Stockton, CA plant for approximately $12 million. The cogeneration system will displace purchased electricity by using Ener-Core, Inc.'s innovative gradual oxidizer technology to convert waste gas from ethanol production and natural gas into electricity and steam. With this technology, the plant will have among the lowest air emissions in the ethanol industry.
Neil Koehler, the company's president and CEO, said: "The Stockton cogeneration system will replace most of the electricity we currently purchase from the grid and will reduce our energy costs by an estimated three to four million dollars per year. This system is one of the most advanced cogeneration systems on the market and will more efficiently deliver steam and electricity to the plant while lowering emissions. Rather than destroying waste gases, we will reuse them as a source of process energy, reducing costs and improving profitability."
Under the terms of the agreement, Dresser-Rand will supply two 1.75 megawatt gas turbine generators with heat recovery steam generators and two gradual oxidizers that are manufactured by Ener-Core. The combined system will replace the current use of thermal oxidizers. Pacific Ethanol expects the cogeneration system to be operational by the second-quarter of 2016.

December 31, 2014

Pacific Ethanol To Merge With Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. and Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings, Inc. announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Pacific Ethanol will acquire all of Aventine's outstanding shares in a stock-for-stock merger transaction.
"With this transaction, Pacific Ethanol strengthens its unique production and marketing advantages by diversifying into two additional discrete markets and connecting its Western markets with Aventine's Midwest and Eastern markets for low-carbon renewable fuels," said Neil Koehler, CEO of Pacific Ethanol. "The merger offers a rare opportunity to combine the experience, market presence and diversification that Aventine brings with our industry leadership in Western US markets. It will complement our existing business as we balance assets across new regional markets, expand our footprint for the production and marketing of low-carbon renewable fuels, diversify our technology and increase our mix of co-products."
"This transaction will more than double our annual ethanol production capacity, and it will establish Pacific Ethanol as the fifth largest producer and marketer of ethanol in the United States. Once closed, we expect the transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings with expected operational synergies and the expansion of our ethanol and co-product marketing business. We are impressed with the both the quality of Aventine's assets and the seasoned employees operating the business, and we look forward to integrating our teams," concluded Koehler.
"In late 2012, the new Aventine management team defined a very aggressive turnaround strategy," stated Mark Beemer, CEO of Aventine. "Our mission has been accomplished with our plants achieving five new production records; over $30 million invested in the Pekin facilities, including coal-to-natural gas conversion; and additional capital investments in our Nebraska facilities. In 2014, Aventine achieved record earnings and successfully restarted its 155 million gallons of ethanol production in Nebraska. We look forward to making a successful transition of the business to Pacific Ethanol and bringing the combined strength of the two companies to the market."
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Pacific Ethanol expects to issue approximately 17.75 million shares of its common stock upon closing in exchange for all of the issued and outstanding shares of Aventine's common stock. Upon completion, existing Pacific Ethanol shareholders will own approximately 58% of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of the combined entity, and Aventine will nominate two representatives to be named later to Pacific Ethanol's board of directors, increasing the total board count to nine.
Aventine will be operated as Pacific Ethanol's wholly-owned subsidiary. Aventine currently has $135 million in term loan debt.
Aventine's ethanol production assets include its 100 million gallon per year wet mill and 60 million gallon per year dry mill located in Pekin, Illinois, and its 110 million gallon per year and 45 million gallon per year dry mills in Aurora, Nebraska. Combined with Pacific Ethanol's current ethanol production capacity of 200 million gallons per year, the combined company will have a total ethanol production capacity of 515 million gallons per year, and together with Pacific Ethanol's marketing business will sell over 800 million gallons of ethanol annually.
The closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur during the second quarter of 2015, is subject to customary and other closing conditions and regulatory approvals, as well as the approval of Pacific Ethanol's and Aventine's shareholders.

November 14, 2014

NGVAmerica Launches New Natural Gas Station Mapping Tool

NGVAmerica launched this week the NGVAmerica Station Analysis Map, a unique tool that maps the nation’s natural gas stations and highlights the vehicle ranges supported by the stations in 100, 400 and 600 mile increments.

In addition to vehicle range, the NGVAmerica Station Analysis Map features the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on the nations compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling infrastructure, including station locations, accessibility and contact information. This information is derived from the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) and is updated monthly.

The NGVAmerica Station Analysis Map is made available to the public so that both fleet operators and consumers can take advantage of the tool to make route and travel planning easy. NGV industry leaders also will benefit from this tool, which can help to identify opportunities for new station construction and help to identify key markets.

“The new NGVAmerica Station Analysis Map is an important addition to our online resources that help further expand the use of natural gas as a vehicular fuel,” said NGVAmerica President Matt Godlewski. “This tool will help industry leaders, fleet operators, and consumers alike to further promote and take advantage of clean-burning, domestically abundant natural gas."

The NGVAmerica Station Analysis Map is accessible on the NGVAmerica website at 

September 15, 2014

Pacific Ethanol Announces Agreement to Sell CO2 From Its Boardman, Oregon Plant

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. announced its agreement with Kodiak Carbonic, LLC to sell CO2 from the Pacific Ethanol Columbia plant located in Boardman, Oregon. Kodiak plans to construct a liquefaction and dry ice processing plant adjacent to the Columbia facility and expects to purchase up to 200 tons of CO2 per day to sell to food processing and beverage producers.
Neil Koehler, the company's president and CEO, said: "The opportunity to utilize the CO2 from our ethanol production process as another co-product for sale further diversifies our revenues and improves Pacific Ethanol's profitability. We anticipate the new COprocessing plant in Boardman to begin operations in early 2015 and to contribute approximately one to two cents per gallon in operating income."

July 29, 2014

Granite State Biofuels Seeks Change Through Craft Brewed Independence from Petroleum

Granite State Biofuels, a community scale biodiesel producer of Bow NH has decided to employ a funding campaign on the increasingly popular crowdfunding website Indiegogo.com. During a period of turmoil and uncertainty regarding government policies and subsidies relating to alternatives to petroleum based fuels, it has become increasingly difficult for small producers to access capital. In the absence of stable policy many producers are scaling back their production and there is great risk to the broad and sustained success of the growing biodiesel industry.

The importance of exploring and supporting all options in our nation’s quest for freedom from foreign oil and reversing damaging environmental trends is known to many yet we are hampering solutions that can be created right here in our communities.

Granite State Biofuels is seeking to develop community activism in support of its efforts to bring a superior solution to environmentally damaging petroleum while simultaneously redistributing economic prosperity back to the local level. No other transport or energy fuel can so closely match its petroleum counterpart and return direct and immediate economic windfall to the community in which it was produced.

Big oil lobbying groups want people to remain unaware of the numerous benefits to locally produced energy sources. The opportunities presented by crowdfunding, which is made up primarily of like-minded and similar interest individuals can influence real grassroots level change even against the likes of the major lobbyists and mega oil companies.

GSB is seeking to inspire a young and motivated audience hungry for innovation and change similar to what has surfaced in many recent crowdfunding eco-campaigns such as the wildly successful Solar Roadways project also on Indoiegogo.com.

The change we will see in the future of Alternative Energy Economics will be populated with similar individuals to the bright young pioneers we have seen exploding across Internet Startups over the past decade. Innovation and passion are the critical ingredients to the type of change our security, environment and economy must have to evolve off our tremendous addiction to petroleum.

Since 2011 Granite State Biofuels, a woman–owned innovator in biodiesel production technologies has worked tirelessly to produce a very compact, highly efficient and distributable process for biodiesel production. The 3 Million Gallon per Year plant they have built fits into a tractor trailer and while not meant to be truly mobile it can be easily built, permitted and transported into communities to act as a local source of direct petroleum replacement fuels. This keeps costs of installation, production and distribution down by servicing the local areas from which raw materials are sourced and end product is consumed.

For more Information go to Indiegogo Campaign “Craft Brewed Biodiesel Independence from Petroleum” - http://bit.ly/1r6Guj2