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Chicago! Fulcrum BioEnergy Picks the Midwest Hub for Its Next MSW-to-Jet Fuel Project

Submitted by on November 7, 2017 – 11:04 amNo Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) From California we received the news that Chicagoland has been selected as the site of Fulcrum BioEnergy’s second commercial-scale waste-to-fuels biorefinery.

We reported last month that the long-awaited financing was completed for Fulcrum Bioenergy’s highly-anticipated first commercial project near Reno, Nevada.

“We have not publicly said what out program schedule is,” Macias noted, “but it is the Chicago area second, and that should be no surprise as it is major hub for United, BP and also Cathay is big there. Waste Management and and Waste Connections have big market shares there as well.

“The third one will be on the west coast because of how attractive the California market is, very attractive to sell fuel into, and it is also a tight fuel market and that makes it a high priority for our fuel partners. It could be in California, or we could transport into California. moving up and down the coast.

“Europe and Asia are nearer term than we had originally planned,” Macias told The Digest.

 “If you look at what we need,” Macias said, “we need good supply of MSW and to be close to the fuel market, that is the airports.

Last September, we reported that Fulcrum is planning to develop eight of its MSW-to-biofuel facilities by 2022, including the first 11 million gallon facility that is expected be online during the second half of 2018. Those new facilities, five of which will be developed by United Airlines as part of their investment deal sealed in June 2015, will be between three and six times the size of the Reno facility.

 Our investors are strategic United, Cathay, BP. They haven’t invested because of this project. They are helping us get through this first plant and proceed with others because they want large volume.

“Start with infrastructure, you can really save on the costs,” Macias said, in reflection on the years developing Fulcrum. “When we started Sierra, that’s a greenfield project in many ways. Yes, there’s a kind of rough infrastructure: natural gas, power, road, rail, but there’s even more infrastructure that’s important to us. Such as access to oxygen and wastewater supply and there are other infrastructures that can be very helpful for the economics of the plant.”

“Also, we look for clarity on the permitting process. Nevada is not very lax, not at all, but very clear on process. It’s a case of, ‘do this and you’ll get your permit’. Other places they’re not clear, it can be a case of ‘we don’t know, we’ll have to get back to you’, and time is very expensive for us. Not having that kind of clarity is tough.” READ MORE


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