KiOR Provides Operational Update on Columbus Facility
(MarketWatch/KiOR) KiOR, Inc., provided today (December 23, 2013) an update on the operations at its Columbus, Mississippi, facility.
KiOR expects that, given current and anticipated operations through the remainder of the year, the Columbus facility will produce approximately 410,000 gallons of fuel during the fourth quarter of 2013, bringing full year production total from the facility to approximately 920,000 gallons. The ratio between gasoline, diesel and fuel oil expected to be produced during the year is approximately 35% gasoline, 40% diesel, and 25% fuel oil.
“We are pleased that we expect to reach our best quarter in terms of production volumes from the Columbus facility,” said Fred Cannon, President and CEO. “It continues to demonstrate the progress that we have made in bringing the world’s first cellulosic gasoline and diesel commercial facility to steady-state operations.”
“Despite our accomplishments to date, we still have a lot of work to do to bring the Columbus facility towards target throughput, yield and financial performance levels. The financial performance of the facility was also negatively impacted by the temporarily depressed pricing for RINs caused by proposed 2014 renewable volume obligation rulemaking by the USEPA.”
“Given these factors,” Mr. Cannon continued, “we believe that, from both an operational and financial perspective, we need to focus our execution on three simple goals: first, bringing the Columbus facility to the levels of operational and financial performance that we expected when we designed that facility over three years ago; second, continuing to develop our technology so that we can improve our yields and process improvements both at Columbus and at future facilities; and third, aggressively managing our cost without sacrificing our long term goals. To that end, from now through the end of the first quarter of 2014, we expect that our efforts at Columbus will be focused on implementing a series of mechanical improvements to the facility rather than production volumes. We plan to operate the facility on a limited campaign basis only to verify the expected impact of improvements we intend to implement. In addition, we continue to see encouraging developments in our catalyst and process development efforts that we believe will continue to drive improvement in yields and overall plant economics.
“With these short-term steps, we are staying true to the KiOR business strategy that we outlined at the time of the initial public offering: bring the operations at the Columbus facility to expected production and economic performance, and allow that performance to serve as the foundation for the development of future KiOR facilities that produce real hydrocarbon fuels competitive with traditional fuels without subsidy — whether through a second Columbus facility or larger, standard scale commercial production facilities,” Mr. Cannon concluded.
“The uncertainty caused by USEPA’s proposed 2014 RVO rulemaking has already made and will continue to make our expansion financing efforts more challenging, but we believe that once USEPA adjusts the 2014 RVOs in a manner consistent with the policy goals of the Renewable Fuel Standard, some of these short term challenges will lessen. While our strategy is taking longer to execute than we anticipated two years ago, we believe that successful execution of our strategy will build a sustainable business that will deliver long-term value to our shareholders.” READ MORE and MORE (Natchez Democrat) and MORE (CDDispatch.com) and MORE (Natchez Democrat)