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Global Bioenergies obtains €4.4M loan to complete financing of demo plant, begins construction

Global Bioenergies, a startup developing and commercializing a fermentation process that targets gaseous isobutene, has obtained a €4.4-million (US$4.7-million) loan from a consortium of four French banks—BNP Paribas, Société Genéralé, CIC and Bpifrance—to complete the financing of its demo plant. (Earlier post.) Concurrent with obtaining the loan, construction has begun and will last one year.

This new financing will cover the purchase of a complete fermentation unit, comprising an inoculation fermenter, a propagation fermenter, and a 5,000L production fermenter. Each are fully instrumented and surrounded by satellite vessels.

This unique installation has been specifically designed for the production of gaseous hydrocarbons. It will be installed on the Fraunhofer CBP site within the Leuna refinery. The demo plant’s operation will begin in 2016 under the supervision of Global Bioenergies GmbH, a Leipzig-based, 100%-owned subsidiary of Global Bioenergies SA.

The demo plant’s financing is also supported by a €5.7-million (US$6.1 million) subsidy granted end 2013 by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Most of this subsidy is still to be received.

Global Bioenergies has been developing its fermentation process since 2008. After having completed a first stage that led to the initial proof of concept in 2009, the company built a first prototype in 2010.

These past two years have seen Global Bioenergies focusing on scaling up its bio-production process to isobutene. A first phase consisted in the construction of an industrial pilot on the agro-industrial site of Pomacle-Bazancourt. Successful start-up was achieved in 2014 and the pilot is now fully operational.

The following phase consists in the installation of a demo plant on the petrochemical site of Leuna, near Leipzig in Germany. Global Bioenergies recently announced having received the corresponding engineering package.


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