Business and People

By BBI Staff | February 09, 2010
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>Hawkeye Renewables LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of 2009. The company, a subsidiary of Hawkeye Energy Holdings LLC, owns and operates two Iowa-based ethanol plants: a 100 MMgy facility in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and a 115 MMgy facility in Fairbank, Iowa.

Normal operations are continuing at both ethanol plants. Hawkeye Energy's other subsidiaries, Hawkeye Growth and Hawkeye Gold, are not a part of the reorganization and are unaffected by the filing. Hawkeye Growth owns and operates two other Iowa ethanol plants in Menlo and Shell Rock. Hawkeye Gold is responsible for marketing the ethanol and distillers grains produced at all four plants.

>Bion Environmental Technologies Inc. is developing a large-scale integrated beef cattle finishing plant and closed-loop ethanol project that has received the unanimous support of the Schroeppel, N.Y., town board. The first phase will include finishing facilities for 72,000 beef cattle, ethanol production and an associated beef processing plant. The company will use a patented, proprietary, waste treatment system. Bion expects that as much as 25,000 acres of previously abandoned, or under-utilized farm land will be needed to provide inputs for the project. The preconstruction phase is expected to take as long as two years.

>Pinal Energy LLC, a 55 MMgy ethanol plant in Maricopa, Ariz., has plans to market E85 under the trademarks Arizona E85 and AZE85. The company is adding storage for the higher grade gasoline needed for blending E85 along with metering equipment for inline blending. Pinal Energy's sister company, Pinal Jet, will sell the branded E85 in the regional market. The company plans to offer its trademarked E85 to local government, taxi and rental car fleets, and retailers. "Our main selling point is that it's a cleaner burning fuel," said General Manager John Skelly. "And it's a U.S. produced product."

>GreenShift Corp. has granted Global Ethanol LLC, a 100 MMgy ethanol plant in Lakota, Iowa, the right to use a its patented corn oil extraction technology. The system "drills" into the back-end of first-generation corn ethanol plants, tapping into the existing reserve of inedible crude corn oil. Global Ethanol will finance, build, own and operate a facility based on GreenShift's technology in exchange for an ongoing royalty payment of roughly 20 percent of the market price of the extracted corn oil at the time of shipment.

>Blackmer, an operating company within Dover Corp.'s Pump Solutions Group, has created a brochure specifically for the liquid terminals market. The brochure describes how the incorporation of Blackmer's rotary sliding vane and centrifugal pumping technologies can help liquid-terminal operators improve the efficiencies and reliability of their transfer, blending/mixing and transportation applications. The brochure includes an application matrix and schematic drawing that depict where specific Blackmer pump types fit into traditional liquid-terminal operations.

>Zeeland Farm Services, a Michigan-based agricultural and transportation company, has purchased its first ethanol facility. It formed a subsidiary, Nebraska Corn Processing LLC, to purchase the 44 MMgy Mid America Agri Products/Horizon LLC in Cambridge, Neb., for $30.1 million during a Dec. 17 bankruptcy auction. The facility, which began producing ethanol in 2007, has been idle since January 2009. MAAP/H filed for bankruptcy June 3 and laid off all employees. The sale to Nebraska Corn Processing was expected to be final by early February.

>Praj Industries Ltd. and Novozymes AS, which have collaborated within conventional biofuels for several years, have announced a plan to work together on advanced biofuels to optimize the enzymatic hydrolysis processes and the use of enzymes in the production of advanced biofuel. Praj is completing pilot trials of its cellulose-to-ethanol technology in India. The company has used a variety of feedstocks, including sugarcane bagasse, corn cobs, straw, wood chips and grasses, according to Pramod Chaudhari, chairman of Praj.

>The Energy & Environmental Research Center Foundation and Whole Energy Fuels Corp. are poised to commercialize cellulosic biofuel technology developed at the EERC. Whole Energy is receiving global, exclusive licensing rights to EERC's technology, which converts biomass and other recycled material into liquid biofuels. EERC is located at the University of North Dakota and Whole Energy Foods is headquartered in Bellingham, Wash.

>The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center is working to establish the Louisiana Institute for Biofuels and Bioprocessing (LIBBi), a research, education and outreach initiative within the AgCenter. The Board of Regents initially approved the project to create a "virtual center" for one year. Initially, the LIBBi will encompass all ongoing research projects within the AgCenter, including those involving the conversion of bagasse, sweet sorghum, switchgrass and algae to biofuels, polymers and specialty chemicals. "As the external advisory board develops and corporate partners emerge, we hope to expand the breadth and depth of our programs," said John Russin, AgCenter associate vice chancellor and institute director.

>Codexis Inc. has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for an initial public offering of shares of its common stock. California-based Codexis has developed a proprietary technology platform that enables the creation of optimized biocatalysts that make existing industrial processes faster, cleaner and more efficient than current methods, according to the company's registration statement. The technology platform will enable the development of biocatalysts that can be used to produce commercially viable, cellulose-derived biofuels, according to the company.

>Fred Zeidman has joined XRoads Solutions Group as a principal, focused on growing the firm's global energy practice and spearheading other growth initiatives. Zeidman was CEO, president and chairman of Seitel Inc., most recently served as chief restructuring officer of Transmeridian Exploration Inc. and was interim president of Nova Biosource Fuels Inc. Also, notably, President George W. Bush appointed him as chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in 2002. "As one of the country's leading energy turnaround experts and a proven thought leader in the industry, his expertise will be a valuable addition to the firm's capabilities," said Dennis Simon, managing principal.

>Two ADF Engineering Inc. employees passed the Ohio Professional Engineer exam in Chemical Engineering. Matt Williamson is a process department manager and has been with ADF Engineering since May 2008. Beth Hery is a senior process engineer and has been with the company since 2005. ADF Engineering has corporate headquarters in Miamisburg, Ohio. The company is an engineering and consulting firm serving the food-feed-fuel and bioscience industries in the United States and Canada.

>Weaver, an independent certified public accounting (CPA) firm, has launched "The Weaver Renewable and Clean Energy Source" energy blog which can be found at William Newman, CPA and partner, and Wade Watson, CPA, CFE and partner, post articles on gasoline and transportation fuel regulations and how they relate to the energy industry as well as the E15 ruling and RFS2. "Offering this energy blog gives our current and potential clients additional information as it becomes available," said John J. Mackel III, CPA, director of energy services and partner for assurance services. EP

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