August 17, 2015

RFA Applauds Fiat Chrysler Approval of E15

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is applauding Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) decision to approve the use of E15 (15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) in its model year (MY) 2016 Chrysler/Fiat, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles. The decision means that FCA joins General Motors and Ford (the “Detroit Three”) in covering E15 in its warranty statements; GM started covering E15 with its MY 2012 vehicles, while Ford joined a year later with its MY 2013 vehicles. More than 12 percent of the vehicles sold so far in the United States in 2015 have been FCA vehicles. RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen, who specifically called on Chrysler to approve E15 during his State of the Industry address at this year’s National Ethanol Conference, called the decision “a seminal moment that augurs well for the continued expansion of E15.” “FCA’s decision to join GM and Ford provides clear evidence that the tide on E15 has turned,” Dinneen said. “The automaker’s decision not to embrace E15 had been a major point of concern and tension for the last three years. FCA customers will be afforded a benefit that will likely lower their weekly motor fuel bill: the freedom to choose what fuel to put into their vehicles.” - See more at: http://www.ethanolrfa.org/news/entry/rfa-applauds-fiat-chrysler-approval-of-e15/#sthash.REx0EzIZ.dpuf

July 02, 2015

United Airlines Invests in Fulcrum BioEnergy

United Airlines recently announced an historic $30 million equity investment in U.S.-based alternative fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a pioneer in the development and commercialization of converting municipal solid waste into low-cost sustainable aviation biofuel. It is also the single largest investment by a U.S. airline in alternative fuels and sets United apart in the aviation industry in the advancement of aviation biofuels and carbon emissions reductions. In addition to the equity investment, United and Fulcrum have entered into an agreement that contemplates the joint development of up to five projects located near United's hubs expected to have the potential to produce up to 180 million gallons of fuel per year.

"We know alternative fuels is an emerging industry that is vital to the future of aviation and this is just one of our initiatives to help make these fuels saleable and scalable," said United's Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brett Hart. "Investing in alternative fuels is not only good for the environment, it's a smart move for our company as biofuels have the potential to hedge against future oil price volatility and carbon regulations."

United has also negotiated a long-term supply agreement with Fulcrum and, subject to availability, will have the opportunity to purchase at least 90 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel a year for a minimum of 10 years at a cost that is competitive with conventional jet fuel. This alternative fuel will be a drop-in fuel that meets all of the airline's technical requirements and specifications, and will power the aircraft in the same way as conventional jet fuel. Fulcrum expects its first alternative fuels plant to begin commercial operation in 2017.

June 11, 2015

Stockholders Approve Merger of Pacific Ethanol and Aventine

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. and Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings, Inc. announced their respective stockholders approved the proposed merger of the two companies at separate meetings held today.
Completion of the merger is expected to be effective July 1, 2015, subject to the satisfaction of all conditions to closing.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Aventine stockholders will receive 1.25 shares of Pacific Ethanol common stock for each share of Aventine common stock they own at closing. Upon closing of the transaction, Aventine stockholders are expected to own approximately 42% and current Pacific Ethanol stockholders are expected to own approximately 58% of the combined company.

May 07, 2015

Pacific Ethanol Begins Production of Corn Oil at Madera Plant

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. has begun commercial production of corn oil utilizing Valicor's proprietary VFRAC corn oil recovery system at its Madera, California plant.

Neil Koehler, the company's president and CEO, stated: "We are pleased to be producing corn oil at our Madera plant, which further diversifies our plant revenue streams and significantly improves operating income. In addition, plans are underway for corn oil production to begin at our Boardman, Oregon plant in the second quarter, at which time all four of Pacific Ethanol's ethanol production facilities will be producing and benefitting from this high-value co-product."

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.