Aemetis reports progress with cellulosic ethanol project

By Erin Voegele | August 14, 2018

Aemetis Inc. released second quarter financial results on Aug. 9, reporting increased revenues and gross margins. The company also reported process being made with its Riverbank cellulosic ethanol plant, including engineering, environmental permitting and EPC project milestones.

"Record gasoline demand in the second quarter helped drive expanded demand and increased pricing for ethanol," stated Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis. "In addition to a 5 percent increase in the volume of ethanol produced by our California plant in Q2 2018 compared to the same quarter a year ago, the price of wet distillers grains increased by 34 percent and the price of glycerin increased by 28 percent compared to Q2 2017."

During an investor call, McAfee provided an update on progress being made toward the development of the cellulosic ethanol plant, which will use LanzaTech technology to convert orchard and agriculture waste into ethanol. According to McAfee, construction on the project could begin this year, depending on the timing of a pending USDA loan guarantee. He said the company is currently working with the USDA, and expects a loan commitment letter to be issued as soon as this month.

Regarding the company’s 60 MMgy corn ethanol plant in Keyes, California, McAfee said the plant continues to operate above nameplate capacity. Production from the facility increased by more than 3 million gallons during the first half of this year, when compared to the same period of 2017, he said. He also noted that the company plans to make upgrades at the plant. McAfee said Aemetis expects to announce details on those upgrades later this year.

Aemetis also operates a 50 MMgy biodiesel plant in India.

The company reported second quarter revenues of $45 million, up from $40.8 million during the same period of last year. The increase was 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 pricing. The gross margin for the second quarter increased to $2.8 million, compared to a gross margin of $1.7 million during the second quarter of 2017.

Operating loss was $900,000, down from an operating loss of $1.7 million during the second quarter of last year. Net loss was $6.2 million, compared to a net loss of $6 million during the same period of 2017.