Monthly Archives: August 2016

Why Only Ethanol?

Where are butanol and other substitutes for gasoline? Jim Lane A reader writes: I’d hoped that the biofuels crowd would have gotten beyond ethanol by now. The industry has made progress creating all kinds of specialty chemicals from renewable sources and more or less successfully brought them to market. There’s jet and diesel in commercial use whether or not they’re yet profitable. However they have made zero commercial progress on anything other than ethanol for gasoline. All the major advances have involved better and better ways to crank out ethanol. I don’t see the auto industry co-operating...

Green Plains Nabs 3 Ethanol Plants On The Cheap

Jim Lane In Nebraska, word has arrived from Green Plains (GPRE) that it will purchase the Madison, Ill., Mount Vernon, Ind. and York, Neb. ethanol facilities from Abengoa (ABGOY) Bioenergy with combined annual production capacity of 236 million gallons per year, for approximately $237 million in cash, plus certain working capital adjustments. The company said it was the successful bidder on three ethanol plants for sale conducted under the provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Upon completion of the acquisitions, Green Plains will own and operate 17 dry mill ethanol facilities with combined production capacity of nearly 1.5...

Amber Means Caution But BioAmber Means Go

Jim Lane In Canada, BioAmber (BIOA) recorded net income of $4.8M for Q2 2016 and an operating loss of $1.0M on revenues of $2.5M. Revenues were up 73 percent over Q1 and 637 percent compared to Q2 2015. For those less familiar with the company, it produces succinic acid from sugar at a first commercial-scale plant which opened recently in Sarnia, Ontario. Succinic acid has a small existing global market but can be converted into a variety of chemical building blocks used to produce a range of plastics, paints, textiles, food additives and personal care products. If for...

Amyris: The New Colossus Aims To Unlock Its Golden Door

Jim Lane In California, Amyris (AMRS) reported a Q2 net loss of $13.8M on revenues of $9,6M, up from $7.8M in Q2 2015. Revenues rose 27% from the corresponding period in 2015 primarily driven by the shipment of a new novel fragrance product, as well as Neossance Squalane sales. At the same time, Amyris, which has recorded $18.4M in revenues for the first half, re-affirmed guidance for the year that it would reach $90M in annual sales and positive cash flow from operations in 2017. With that, Amyris would have increased revenues by 400% in the second half,...

There’s Graphite In Them Electric Vehicles

by Debra Fiakas CFA The market for lithium ion batteries is expected to reach $46 billion by 2022.  That represents 11% compound annual growth over the next six years.  Few other markets if any are growing at such a feverish pace.  The adoption of electric cars is the center of the excitement, but the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices also plays a part.  Suppliers of critical battery materials such as lithium, cobalt and graphite are salivating over potential sales to battery manufacturers. Graphite with its strong conductivity and heat-resistant qualities is a perfect material...

Gevo: Clever Escape Or Watery Grave

Jim Lane   This week, Gevo (GEVO) reported its Q2 financial results, reaffirmed its guidance on production cost targets, lengthened out the timing on its production targets, and placed all the near-term chips on marine biofuels. Market reaction was generally pretty hateful, with the stock dropping 33% today. Investors seem to have translating Gevo’s messaging thus: Gevo says: We’re staking our near-term prospects on marine biofuels. Investors hear: We’re underwater. Gevo says: Timing delay in our isobutanol gallonage, took longer to get the fixes implemented, we’ll make up on the back side. May need more equipment. Investors hear:...

TerraVia: No Going Back

Jim Lane   At the outset of his historic Conquest, Cortés gathered the men and burned the boats. As TerraVia jettisons its break-out industrial product line and completes the pivot to Food, what lies ahead in the New World? Gromeko: They’ve shot the Czar. And all his family. Oh, that’s a savage deed. What’s it for? Zhivago: It’s to show there’s no going back. Dr. Zhivago In California, TerraVia (TVIA) recorded a loss of $27.4M for Q2 2016 on revenues of $9.9M as the company made milestone announcements in its transition from industrials to nutrition including...

BioAmber: Fingers Crossed

by Debra Fiakas CFA Plastic is everywhere  -  our homes and offices, the cars we drive, our personal items, food containers and even our dental fillings.  Plastic is also toxic.  Dioxins, BPA (bisphenol A) and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), both of which are critical chemicals in plastics, have been identified as endocrine disruptors, upsetting hormonal balance, triggering the growth of tumors and interfering with sexual development in fetuses. Even people who deliberately avoid plastics are exposed to the toxicity.  For example, we ingest BPA when eating fish that lived in waters contaminated with plastics.  Remember that ‘island’...

Climate Bonds Mid-Year Roundup

by the Climate Bonds Team Halfway in 2016: Issuance Up on 2015: New Underwriters from China: And Where Will Green Bonds Land by Dec 31st? The Headline Figures: At the end of Q2, issuance for 2016 stood at USD 34.6bn – bringing it close to the total issuance for 2015 with 6 months of the year to go.  In the first two weeks since the end of Q2 - total issuance surpassed the 2015 total. We expect even more in the second half of the year.  USD 18.6bn issued in Q2 alone making it the highest single quarter of green bond...

KiOR: “You’ve Cooked The Books”

by Jim Lane Note. This is Part 3 of our series on the inside true story of KiOR. In part 1 of our series here, and part 2 here. Our story so far KiOR was hanging by a thread as the summer of 2010 commenced. In a few days, the first recorded visitors to Pasadena demo unit, representatives of the Mississippi Development Authority, were expecting to see the demonstration unit in action. The company was beginning to hurtle towards an IPO. But the fuel yields were...

Offshore Wind Blows Into The US: Seven Stocks To Catch The Breeze

Tom Konrad CFA The Growth of Offshore Wind Offshore wind has finally gotten a toe hold in the United States.   The United States' first offshore wind farm, the 30 megawatt (MW) Block Island Wind Farm, is under construction.  A new project, the South Fork Wind Farm will be  three times the size of Block Island (90 MW), is set to be approved by the Long Island Power Authority.  This project will be located 30 miles East of Montauk, NY and Southeast of Block Island in a wind energy area designated by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy...