A (nearly) Pure-play Biodiesel Stock

On January 29th, M~Wave and private vertically integrated Biodiesel distributor Blue Sun Biodiesel announced a merger between the two, with Blue Sun becoming a division of M~Wave, and the merged company being renamed Blue Sun Holdings. Managerial control will also pass to "certain directors and the officers of SunFuels." If this merger goes through as planned in the second quarter of 2007, US investors will have their first opportunity to invest in a stock focused on a biofuel which is much less controversial among environmentalists than corn-based ethanol. Estimates of the well-to-wheels Energy Return on Energy Invested...

The Brew Barons: Masters of advanced fermentation, driving the redefinition of biofuels: Pt ...

Jim Lane Will the new fermentation technologies completely shatter preconceptions about biofuels and bio-based products – and redefine the way in which Western Civ approaches the production of fuel, food, feed, and fiber? The new Brew Barons are working hard to make that so. See part 1 of  'Brew Barons', here. LanzaTech The LanzaTech process increases industrial energy efficiency by capturing waste gases (CO, CO2) and converting them to valuable fuels and chemicals. LanzaTech provides an opportunity to produce large volumes of low carbon fuel and chemicals at low costs using a countries own resources, reducing dependence on...

Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. Announces Commencement of Construction of Its 50 Million...

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (GPRE) announced that its project in Shenandoah, Iowa is progressing as planned. The Company received its air permit from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources late last week. Fagen Inc. has set up their on-site construction offices and anticipates construction of the plant to begin early next week. The Company anticipates that the Shenandoah plant will begin producing ethanol in the Spring of 2007.

The Best Peak Oil Investments, Part VIII: Alternative Fuel Report Card

Tom Konrad CFA There are two types of solution to the liquid fuels scarcity caused by stagnating (and eventually falling) oil supplies combined with growing demand in emerging economies.  The most obvious is to find a substitute to replace oil.  Each potential substitute has barriers to its use which stand in the way of it from becoming a complete substitute for petroleum based fuel.  Understanding those barriers also leads us to the investment opportunities that arise from these substitutes.  In the last two articles of this series, I looked at barriers to adoption for alternative...

Codexis, Shell to Part Company

Jim Lane Codexis expects to lose all of Shell funding, win freedom to operate globally (excepting Brazil). Pyrrhic victory or the necessary price of freedom? In California, Codexis (CDXS) announced that it expects to obtain rights from Shell to market its CodeXyme cellulase enzymes to other cellulosic biofuels developers, (excluding Brazil) and that Shell will discontinue its $60 million enzyme R&D program, which will result in the loss of 116 full-time jobs, or a third of the company’s staff. Raizen, the Shell-Cosan JV, will remain Codexis’ largest shareholder. Yesterday, as the company reported Q2 earnings, Codexis CEO John...
Kakinada India Aemetis

Aemetis: Indian Breakthrough, California Expansion

Aemetis, Inc. (AMTX:  NasdaqCM) just announced sales of biodiesel to gas stations in India.  The sales follow on the heels of a significant ruling in November 2018, by the Bombay High Court to remove restrictions on biodiesel that had barred direct to consumer sales by biofuel manufacturers.  The breakthrough into the India market is significant for the company, which has been operating a 50-million gallon integrated chemicals and fuels facility in Kakinada, India for several years.  Demand for renewable fuels has been strongest among fast growing economies like India, where decision makers fear dependence upon imported fossil fuels.  India produces only about 1% of global...

The Economics of Biofuels: Three Drivers

Jim Lane They’re known as the three E’s: emissions, energy security and economic development. But how do they contribute to the economics of biofuels? And how do those economics compare to the economics of crude? The financing of biofuels is founded, to put it as simply as possible, upon the economics of substitution. On the one hand, there’s the price of energy currently locked inside biomass; on the other hand, the price of energy currently locked inside crude oil. The monetary rationale for biofuels is a version of vive la difference. To give a simple example, if renewable...

EPA Reneges on Trump’s Biofuels Deal

by Jim Lane “EPA Reneges on Trump’s Biofuels Deal”, said the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in reacting to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s new plans for fulfilling federal renewable fuel requirements. EPA released a proposed supplemental rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard today, and the bioeconomy is up in arms, and the outrage is centered in farm country, once a Trump bastion of support. “IRFA members continue to stand by President Trump’s strong biofuels deal announced on Oct. 4, which was worked out with our elected champions and provided the necessary certainty that 15 billion gallons would mean 15 billion gallons, even after...

Renewable Fuel Producers Score A Win

Despite Trump’s vow to roll back all measures endorsed by Obama, his Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt is backing off plans to scuttle the U.S. biofuel policy.  The Trump administration had planned to change regulatory standards to reduce the amount of renewable fuel that must be blended with conventional fossil fuel for gasoline and diesel supplies.  In the third week in October 2017, Pruitt sent a letter to Congressional leadership indicating the renewable fuel volume mandates for 2018 would remain unchanged. Most analysts saw the about face as a win for ethanol and renewable diesel producers such as Green Plains (GPRE:  Nasdaq), FutureFuel...

Gevo Raises Money After Win At Supreme Court

Jim Lane Following just one day after a big win in the Supreme Court and a corporate update last week, Gevo (GEVO) announced that it intends to offer and sell, subject to market and other conditions, common stock units. Each common stock unit will consist of one share of common stock, Series A warrants to purchase a certain number of shares of common stock and Series B warrants to purchase a certain number of shares of common stock. The units are to be sold by Gevo subject to market and other conditions in an underwritten public offering. Update!...

When Will the Fog Lift of Biofuel Investors?

Jim Lane Delays and cancellations photo via Bigstock Investor flights GEVO, SZYM, AMRS take off delayed by fog. How soon will the potential of three of the hottest companies in the field be realized? What are the key milestones coming up for the industrial biotech’s Gold Dust Triplets? In Colorado, Gevo (GEVO) reported its Q4 and full-year 2012 results this week and now the Q4 news for the gold-dust trio of Amyris (AMRS), Solazyme (SZYM) and Gevo is in certainly the most highly-heralded...

No Eeyores for KiOR

Jim Lane Analysts are bullish as KiOR’s (KIOR) drop-in biofuels technology transitions to commercial phase – what factors are driving all the good vibes? There are a lot of Eeyores around the advanced biofuels space these days – well, around the United States and to a great extent the EU as a whole, really. Gloomy, pessimistic, chronically depressed. Investors have been, in a similar mood, hammering advanced biofuels and biobased material stocks – in some cases to within a few bucks of cash on hand. KiOR, by contrast, has been generally able to create and sustain its...
Aemetis logo

Biofuels & Biobased Earnings Roundup: Aemetis

by Jim Lane The Top Line. In California, Aemetis (AMTX) reported that Q2 revenues increased $4.3 million and gross margins increased by $1.1 million compared to the second quarter of 2017. Similarly, during the first half of 2018, revenues increased $15.7 million and gross margins increased by $3.5 million compared to the first half of 2017. Revenues were $45.0 million for the second quarter of 2018 compared to $40.8 million for the second quarter of 2017, driven by an increase in ethanol sales volumes from 15.6 million gallons to 16.4 million gallons and by stronger wet distillers grain and glycerin demand and pricing. Operating loss...
Velocys rocks with Red Rocks

Velocys Rocks With Red Rocks

by Jim Lane In the United Kingdom, renewable fuels company, Velocys (VLS.L, OXFCF), received a “notice to proceed” action to commence manufacturing of the Fischer-Tropsch reactors and catalyst for the Red Rock Biofuels biorefinery that will be located in Lakeview, Oregon. RRB has commenced construction of the biorefinery, which will incorporate Velocys’ technology, and produce low- carbon, renewable diesel and jet fuel. Velocys’ role will be as a licensor for its technology to the project. Red Rock’s construction is estimated to take 18 months, with operations planned to start in 2020. RRB is a subsidiary of IR1 Group LLC, which has 325 million gallons...

Green Plains, Green Profits

by Debra Fiakas CFA Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (GPRE:  Nasdaq) is one of the few U.S. ethanol producers to turn a consistent profit.  The company is half way through its fifth consecutive profitable year.  Sales in the most recently reported twelve months totaled $3.4 billion, on which the company earned $40.5 million in net income.  During this period Green Plains generated $100.0 million in operating cash flow. Tracing Green Plains profits requires a bit of effort by investors.  The company channels its products through a marketing and distribution division.  Thus while, ethanol production...

Everything Going for KiOR – Just Not Very Fast

Jim Lane What’s up with the cellulosic biofuels leader? Good news, bad news? If you have ever spent any time reading up on ion thrusters a next-gen engine technology that NASA recently employed on the Dawn spacecraft you might chuckle when you think of the plight of poor KiOR (KIOR). The good news about ion thrusters is that they can ultimately achieve speeds of 200,000 miles per hour, ten times that of the Space Shuttle. The bad news is that the Dawn took four days to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour. Yep, zero...
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