AE Biofuels, Inc. today announced its wholly-owned advanced ethanol subsidiary AE Advanced Fuels Keyes, Inc. (AE Keyes), closed a $3.5 million financing with Third Eye Capital Corporation. The funds will be used to restart and operate a 55 million gallon per year ethanol plant located in Keyes, California. In November 2010, AE Keyes received $4.5 million from Third Eye Capital to complete the repair and retrofit of the Keyes facility.
AE Keyes expects to restart the Keyes plant and be fully operational by late April 2011. AE Keyes took possession of the facility under a project agreement with Cilion, Inc. in 2010. The revised project agreement extends the original lease from three to five years, with an early termination right at three years.
AE Advanced Fuels Keyes also announced that it has signed a grain supply and services contract with J.D. Heiskell & Co. AE Keyes will market its wet distillers grains (WDG) through an agreement with A.L. Gilbert, and the company previously announced its ethanol marketing agreement with Kinergy Marketing LLC.
The Keyes plant is a leader in environmentally responsible ethanol production with a 2.6:1 positive energy balance and near zero water discharge. In addition, the plant’s natural gas and steam powered turbine cogeneration unit generates nearly all of the operating electric needs of the plant (4.3 megawatts), thus eliminating dependence on the state’s electrical grid.
AE Biofuels intends to introduce its patent-pending enzyme-based cellulosic ethanol technology at the Keyes facility and other California ethanol plants in 2011.