Business Briefs

By Erin Voegele | February 16, 2017

Enerkem Inc. has appointed Dominique Boies as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). Boies has more than 20 years of experience in corporate and finance strategy, investment banking and operations. Prior to joining Enerkem, he was executive vice president and CFO at RONA where he was responsible for financial and corporate strategy, investor relations, accounting, financing, treasury and legal affairs. At RONA, he led the company’s turnaround as well as the transaction that resulted in the acquisition of RONA by Lowe’s valued at $3.2 billion. Prior to this, Boies held various senior executive positions at RBC Royal Bank and at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), one of the largest institutional fund managers in North America. 

Trident Automation has reached an agreement to merge with Trident Intech LLC, a software development company partially owned by Shane Seif and the founders of Trident Automation. Under the new agreement, Seif will be leading the new software development and R&D initiatives for Trident Automation and will develop all proprietary software products for the company. Trident Intech has developed several products, including the Workbench Suite of products that is a data collection and reporting module; the KPI System that automatically collects key performance indicators; and the Lab Data Module that presents data in easy-to-read graphics. 

Premium Plant Services has hired James Schwindeman to serve as vice president of operations. Schwindeman is responsible for providing strategic and tactical direction to improve the profitability, productivity, safety and efficiency of the company’s operations. He is based at the company’s Hibbing, Minnesota, office. Before joining Premium Plant Services, Schwindeman spent several years working in various roles throughout Texas for Halliburton Energy Services, most recently as a principal field engineer.   

CTE Global, an enzyme provider, has joined the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association as a vendor member. In the U.S., CTE Global works closely with the ethanol industry to optimize ethanol production. The company’s operations are based in Illionois. CTE Global also has a research and development lab in St. Paul, Minnesota, that provides analytical support to ethanol producers.

Petrobras Biocombustível S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Petrobras, has announced an agreement to sell its shares in Guarani S.A., a Brazil-based sugar and ethanol producer, to Tereos Participations SAS, a company under French group Tereos, for $202 million. Tereos, a partner of Petrobras Biocombustível in Brazil, is the third-largest sugar producer in the world. Petrobras first announced it was beginning negotiations with Tereos in October regarding the sale of its 45.9 interest in Guarani.

Syngenta has announced that Ron Wulfkuhle, head of GreenLeaf Genetics, has been appointed the new head of Enogen corn enzyme technology. Wulfkuhle brings more than 30 years of agricultural industry experience to the position. He started as an Arkansas-based sales rep for Ciba-Geigy in 1984 before taking on sales and marketing positions across a variety of commercial units and legacy companies of Syngenta. Most recently, he oversaw the significant growth of the GreenLeaf business after it was fully acquired by Syngenta in 2010. Syngenta also recently announced that it has reached agreements with ethanol plants with a combined total capacity of nearly 2 billion gallons for the use of Enogen corn. The alpha amylase enzyme found in Enogen corn hybrids helps an ethanol plant dramatically reduce the viscosity of its corn mash and eliminate the need to add a liquid form of the enzyme.

U.S. Water Services has named LaMarr Barnes as CEO. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Allete Inc. Barnes replaces former CEO Allan Bly, who resigned his position after a 20-year career with the company. Barnes has more than 25 years of experience in industrial water treatment and technology management. Hired in 2010 as vice president of marketing, he assumed added responsibilities as vice president of marketing and business development before being named senior executive vice president of marketing and strategy in 2015.

LanzaTech has been selected by the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office to receive a $4 million award to design and plan a demonstration-scale facility using industrial off gases to produce 3 MMgy of low-carbon jet and diesel fuels. The facility will recycle industrial waste gases from steel manufacturing to produce a low-cost ethanol intermediate Lanzanol. Both Lanzanol and cellulosic ethanol will then be converted to jet fuel via the alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) process developed by LanzaTech and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

In Denmark, on Dec. 15, the Danish Parliament voted to implement a 0.9 percent blending mandate for advanced biofuels in the transportation sector. The mandate is set to become effective in 2020.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association has announced Kum & Go as its newest associate member. Kum & Go has been a leader among retailers, offering renewable fuels at the pump for nearly 20 years. The Iowa-based organization offers biofuel options such as E15, E85 and biodiesel at stores across 11 states, and more locations are added each year.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. and Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., announced they have commenced unit train service from Pacific Ethanol’s plant in Pekin, Illinois. Under the new service, the Tazewell & Peoria Railroad, a G&W-owned switching and terminal railroad that serves the Pekin plant, hauls the plant’s daily output to Creve Coeur, Illinois, where the connecting TPW has the track capacity to aggregate the railcars and assemble unit trains of as many as 96 cars. The TPW, a 200-mile short line railroad, then interchanges the unit trains with connecting Class I railroads for delivery to final destinations east of the Mississippi.