Business and People

By | March 16, 2010
>ScottMadden Inc. and Ascendant Partners Inc. have joined forces to help renewable energy companies secure project financing, combining ScottMadden's energy and clean tech expertise with Ascendant Partners' experience in project finance. Both firms have worked on numerous U.S. DOE and USDA loan guarantee applications, advanced energy tax credits and other production and investment tax credit applications. In addition to their application experience, they are certified loan application reviewers for the DOE. The firms have developed detailed methodologies, templates and work plans for each of the DOE and USDA funding mechanisms, which eliminates the guesswork and errors while significantly improving the efficiency of the process, according to the announcement of the joint initiative.

>Greenergy International Ltd., a UK biofuels supplier, and Bauche Group, a France-based agricultural commodities business, have a new joint venture to sell sustainable Brazilian ethanol in Europe. Greenergy will have a 70 percent stake in Greenergy Brazil, to be headquartered in Sao Paulo, and Bauche the remaining 30 percent. Greenergy has worked with suppliers in Brazil since 2007 to develop and implement environmental and social sustainability criteria. Bauche has extensive trading relationships with Brazilian mills. In 2010, traded volumes of Brazilian ethanol are expected to exceed 158 MMgy, according to Greenergy. Of that, half will be supplied by Greenergy to the UK market.

>William J. Brady joined cellulosic developer Mascoma Corp. as CEO in January, after 23 years with Cabot Corp., a chemical industry leader. Brady will also serve on the boards for Mascoma and Frontier Renewable Resources LLC, the cellulosic ethanol plant under development in Kinsross, Mich. "Bill has extensive experience running large commercial divisions for a major chemical company, which is exactly the skill set we need as Mascoma transitions into a commercial enterprise," said Mascoma Chairman Bruce Jamerson. Acting president Jim Flatt will continue as executive vice president, research and development/operations and Jamerson will continue as chairman of Mascoma and Frontier.

>John McCarthy has become CEO and president of Qteros Inc., Massachusetts-based developers of cellulosic ethanol. McCarthy joined Qteros from Microbia Inc. where he served as chief business officer of the developer of bio-based specialty chemicals for large-scale industrial applications. Prior to Microbia, McCarthy was executive vice president for Verenium Corp. where he helped with the successful merger and integration of Celunol and Diversa and the subsequent creation and execution of the industry's precedent-setting strategic corporate partnership with BP plc. Venture capital-backed Qteros is working on a one-step microbial conversion process based on its patented and trademarked Q Microbe. Investors include, among others, Venrock Associates, Battery Ventures, BP Ventures, Soros Fund Management LLC and Valero Energy Corp.

>BinMaster Level Controls and Digi International have collaborated on the development of BinMaster's BinLink Web-based bin, tank and silo monitoring solution, which enables remote wireless inventory management. The system includes BinMaster SmartBob2 and SmartBob-TS1 sensors, which are mounted on the bins, and a Digi Connectport X gateway, which runs the SmartBob application to provide bin level measurement data that can be accessed easily via the Internet.

>Trace Environmental Systems marked 15 years in the business of providing emissions monitoring systems. The New Jersey-based company provides continuous emissions monitoring systems as well as predictive emissions monitoring systems that can lower the operational costs of stack monitoring. Its data acquisition software was groundbreaking when developed, and remains the only user configurable product of its kind, according to the company. The company has provided monitoring solutions for a number of biofuels facilities.

>Joule Biotechnologies Inc. appointed Troy Campione senior vice president of corporate development. In this newly created role, he will lead Joule's business development strategy and execution, including negotiating partnership and development agreements. Most recently, Campione worked with Solazyme, and prior to that at Symyx Technologies and ExxonMobil. Joule has a patent-pending Helioculture technology using engineered organisms and its SolarConverter system for direct production of advanced biofuels and chemicals.

>Glycos Biotechnologies Inc. appointed Daniel Monticello to direct laboratory operations for the company as vice president, research and development. He also will be responsible for overseeing the company's ongoing demonstration and commercialization efforts in Latin America. With more than 20 years of work in industrial biotechnology, most recently Monticello cofounded Molecular LogiX Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company. GlycosBio has focused on the metabolic engineering of microbes to consume multiple nonsugar-based, low value feedstocks for the production of sustainable chemical intermediates and advanced ethanol.

>ZeaChem Inc. announced it has successfully scaled up its process technology to a 5,000-liter unit that achieved commercially acceptable acetic acid concentration levels on the first fermentation run, while exceeding ZeaChem's time goals. The company is using acetogens, familiar organisms in wastewater treatment, to produce acetic acid from mixed sugars and hydrolyzates derived from cellulosic biomass. Acetic acid is the first step in a hybrid biochemical and thermochemical process for creating cellulosic ethanol and bio based chemicals. The company received a $25 million U.S. DOE grant in December and plans to build a 250,000 gallon facility in Boardman, Ore., as the next step in commercialization.

>ATEC Steel, an affiliate in the Tank Connection Affiliate Group, has acquired a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Baxter Spring, Kan. The addition will allow expansion of the company's specialty steel construction and pressure vessel product lines, as well as its coating applications. ATEC operates a second, 100,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Baxter Spring and a 55,000-square-foot facility in Gardena, Calif. In a separate announcement, Tank Connection and Laidig Systems Inc. are creating an affiliate relationship to serve the industry with their complimentary product lines. Laidig is a global provider of dry bulk silo storage reclaim systems.

>Archer Daniels Midland Co. appointed Matthew Bruns to vice president, corn processing. Moving over from export trading in the grain group, Bruns will oversee ethanol trading and sales as well as the corn business unit's commodity risk. In its Dec. 31 quarterly financial report, ADM reported a big increase in net earnings from its bioproducts division. Total ADM corn processing profits for the quarter were $290 million, with sweeteners and starches bringing in $171 million and bioproducts bringing in $119 million, compared to a $111 million loss in the second quarter of the 2008 fiscal year. ADM's quarterly report also noted the start up of its ethanol dry mill in Columbus, Neb., would add 300 MMgy in capacity; the completion of cogeneration projects will provide cost-effective process steam and electricity at plants in Clinton, Iowa, and Columbus, Neb.; completion of the Brazilian joint venture sugarcane ethanol plant; completion of an expansion at its corn wet mill in Decatur, Ill.; and continuing construction on an ethanol dry mill in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

>Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, received the Frost & Sullivan 2009 New Product Innovation Award for Biomass Enzymes. The award was granted for Genencor's Acellerase product line, which industry analyst Frost & Sullivan said provides "significant advantages that make it stand out from the competition." EP

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