ClearFuels Adds BNP Paribas to Commercial Development Team for BTL Diesel and Jet Fuel Biorefineries
ClearFuels Technology Inc. has executed a letter of engagement with BNP Paribas to act as financial advisor to assist and support ClearFuels in securing senior secured debt financing for its commercial thermochemical Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL) biorefinery projects.
The agreement calls for BNP Paribas to assist and support ClearFuels with the analytical work and due diligence regarding ultimate debt financing for ClearFuels’ commercial projects. These services would be directed, in part, to create financing plans for the commercial projects. BNP Paribas would consider arranging and acting as lead lender for the senior debt financing at market terms for the first three commercial projects. BNP Paribas is one of the 6 strongest banks worldwide, according to Standard & Poor’s.
ClearFuels recently was selected to receive up to $23 million as a grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to construct a biomass gasifier at Rentech’s Energy Technology Center (RETC) in Colorado and integrate it with Rentech’s existing Product Demonstration Unit. (Earlier post.) The project team for the demonstration includes ClearFuels; Rentech, which has a 25% strategic ownership investment in ClearFuels (earlier post); URS; Linde/Hydro-Chem; Hawaiian Electric Company; National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL); and Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI).
ClearFuels expects to complete the demonstration project in 2011 and move directly to construction of commercial projects in the second half of 2011. The ClearFuels gasification and Rentech Fischer-Tropsch conversion technologies have been developed, tested and improved independently over the past 15 years.
ClearFuels has begun development of multiple commercial-scale biomass-to-energy projects in the southeastern United States, Hawaii and internationally. These projects are expected to use an integrated ClearFuels-Rentech design and be co-located at sugar mills, and at wood and other biomass processing facilities. ClearFuels expects that the life-cycle carbon footprint of renewable fuels produced by ClearFuels-Rentech technologies can be near zero, depending on the feedstock and the alternate use of such feedstock.
The renewable synthetic diesel and jet fuels will meet all applicable fuels standards, be compatible with existing engines and pipelines, and burn cleanly, with emissions of particulates and other regulated pollutants significantly lower than emissions of traditional fuels. Jet fuel produced from the Fischer-Tropsch process, on which Rentech’s technology is based, is certified for use by the US Air Force and for use in commercial aircraft.
The ClearFuels proprietary thermochemical conversion process is based on its advanced High Efficiency Hydrothermal Reformation (HEHTR) technology for biomass-to-syngas conversion (BTG). This modular, flexible BTG technology platform, in combination with various synthetic gas-to-liquid (GTL) technologies and co-locating its biorefineries at sugar mills, wood processing and other biomass processing facilities, provides a reduced risk, lower overall cost commercial strategy.
The Rentech-SilvaGas biomass gasification process can convert multiple biomass feedstocks into synthesis gas (syngas) for production of renewable fuels and power. Combining the gasification process with Rentech’s unique application of proven syngas conditioning and clean-up technology and the patented Rentech Process based on Fischer-Tropsch chemistry, Rentech offers an integrated solution for production of synthetic fuels from biomass.
The Rentech Process can also convert syngas from fossil resources into synthetic jet and diesel fuels, specialty waxes and chemicals. Final product upgrading is provided under an alliance with UOP, a Honeywell company.