Business Briefs

People, Partnerships & Deals
By Ethanol Producer Magazine Staff | October 05, 2012

1. Kelly Davis has joined the Renewable Fuels Association as its director of regulatory affairs. She previously chaired the RFA Technical Committee while working for Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co. in Benson, Minn. In her new position, Davis will help members of the RFA navigate the myriad of regulatory issues handed down by the federal government. She has experience in ethanol exports, the E.U.’s Renewable Energy Directive, and carbon accounting in the U.S. and abroad. Her recent work experience with an ethanol marketing firm will also allow Davis to serve as an asset to the RFA’s E15 regulatory team.

2. Lincoln, Neb.-based BinMaster Level Controls has announced the introduction of the BinMaster Guided Wave Radar (GWR-100) level sensor for measuring powders, bulk solids, and liquids in vessels up to 78 feet tall. The GWR-100 provides highly accurate measuring utilizing time domain reflectometry (TDR) to continuously measure the distance, level and volume of material contained in bins, tanks and silos. It performs reliability and is immune to dust, humidity, temperature, pressure and bulk density changes as well as noise that might be present when filling or emptying the vessel. The sensor features advanced two-wire TDR measurement technology with a low dead band and accuracy of plus or minus 0.2 inches.

3. Alfa Laval has acquired Gamajet Cleaning Systems. A new company, named Alfa Laval Tank Equipment Inc., has been created. The new company will operate as Gamajet Cleaning Systems and will remain in Exton, Pa. Robert Delaney, long-time president of Gamajet Cleaning Systems, will continue to serve as president of the new company. Alfa Laval’s existing line of tank cleaning equipment, Toftejorg, has been absorbed by the new company for North America. Sales, support and service of the Toftejorg equipment will be handled at Gamajet’s Exton, Pa., office.

4. Woodland Biofuels Inc. has added William White to its senior management team in the position of chief operating officer. White formerly served as president of DuPont Canada, and worked more than 30 years for DuPont in its operations, marketing, engineering and global business units. He has also recently served as a member of the board of MaRS Discovery District and the advisory board of the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance. In his new position, White will leverage his background and experience in managing the construction and operation of chemical plants.

5. Tenaska Biofuels LLC has promoted Dave Neubauer to the position of president. Neubauer has served as vice president and general manager of the company since its inception in 2006, and was responsible for the creation and implementation of its business plan. As president, Neubauer will continue to direct Tenaska Biofuels efforts to provide marketing, risk management, transportation and other asset management services to the ethanol, biodiesel and vegetable oil industries. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the energy industry. Prior to joining Tenaska Biofuels, Neubauer founded and served as president of Chalkstone Consulting, which provided energy risk management and development services to the ethanol, natural gas and crude oil industries.

6. Lallemand Inc. has acquired Atlanta based North American Bioproducts Corp. and its ancillary businesses, Piedmont Contract Packaging, NABC do Brasil and NABC International. NABC is a provider of yeast and fermentation adjuncts as well as support and education services to the fuel ethanol industry. The acquired companies will be combined with Lallemand’s existing business, Lallemand Ethanol Technology, to form a new, larger business unit of the Specialties Division of Lallemand, which is based in Toulouse, France and led by Bill Nankervis. The new business unit will be headquartered in Atlanta and led by NABC founder Kevin Dailey.

7. ExperTune Inc. software now includes non-steady-state (NSS) modeling features for integrating control loops. These tools provide fast, simple modeling and tuning of level controls and work with all other integrating processes, such as gas tank pressure controls. New techniques developed by ExperTune allow the user to develop level control models and tuning, even when the process has not achieved steady-state, meaning that users can develop excellent turning for level controls even when little data is available. NSS tuning integrates seamlessly with ExperTune’s PlantTriage and PID Loop Optimizer software.

8. EnviroFlight LLC has achieved commercial-scale production of sustainable, insect-based feeds using biofuel coproducts. The technology involves the industrial cultivation of hermetia illucens—black soldier flies—and converts coproducts from ethanol plants and breweries into a high-value source of animal and vegetable protein aquaculture and specialty feeds. EnviroFlight has a number of aquaculture feed formulations undergoing testing at this time, and expects to commercially release its aquaculture feeds in the spring of 2013 through direct sales and selected distributors.

9. Dynatek Articulated Loading Systems has added three new companies, including MC Schroeder Equipment Co., to its network of independent sales representatives. Operating out of offices in Denver, N.C., and Moseley, Va., MC Schroeder sales staff will promote, sell and support Dynatek Articulated Loading Systems in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the eastern portion of Tennessee.  Mercer, Pa.-based Hankinson Marketing has also been selected to promote and sell Dynatek Articulated Loading Systems products and systems in the grain and feed industries. In addition, PennQuip Inc. will sell and promote the company’s loading systems in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. Dynatek Articulated Loading Systems is a division of D&D Products and designs and builds articulated truck, railcar and barge loading systems based on auger, belt, drag and air slide conveyor technologies.

10. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman declared September as Renewable Fuels Awareness month in Nebraska during a visit to Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island. The proclamation was coordinated through the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board, which hosted the event at Husker Harvest Days to recognize the contributions of Nebraska farmers and agribusinesses to the nation’s renewable fuel supply.

11. Lignol Energy Corp. has successfully completed a major body of work in producing cellulsoic ethanol at its pilot-scale biorefinery, in partnership with Novozymes Inc. The work involved optimization of process conditions for the use of Novozymes’ cellulase enzyme preparation, Cellic CTec 3, with Lignol’s substrate. Performance improvements of up to 35 percent were observed when compared to previously best achieved results.

12. Superior Industries has appointed two new national sales managers to its conveying equipment and conveyor components divisions. Scott Gulan has assumed sales management of the company’s conveying equipment division. His duties will include supervision of territory managers throughout the U.S. and Canada, and customer care from point of sale to the company’s internal customer service estimating team. Mike McFerren has accepted the same role in the company’s conveyor components division, where he will be responsible for overseeing the company’s idler, pulley and conveyor accessory territory sales managers in the U.S. and Canada.

13. Joule Unlimited has added Caroline Dorsa to its board of directors. She currently serves as the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Public Service Enterprise Group, a publically traded diversified energy company. Dorsa previously served as senior vice president of global human health, strategy and integration at Merck & Co., and held the role of senior vice president and chief financial officer at Avaya Inc., where she supported the company through its acquisition by private equity. She also currently serves on the board of Biogen Idec.

14. Flare Industries LLC has acquired Jordan Technologies, a leading supplier of vapor recovery units (VRUs) and the largest service provider for VRUs in the world market. Flare Industries designs, manufactures and installs combustion and pollution control technology and equipment. Jordan Technologies designs, manufactures and actively services VRUs for a broad range of customers in the ethanol, natural gas, petroleum and petrochemical industries. Each company will continue to maintain its own brand.

15. Codexis Inc. has appointed David O’Toole as senior vice president and chief financial officer. O’Toole formerly served as vice president and chief financial officer at Response Genetics Inc., where he managed the finance and accounting department and was responsible for investor relations and information technologies. During his time at Response Genetics, he implemented policies and procedures that resulted in significant cost savings and operational efficiencies. He has also successfully completed a number of equity financings.

16. Terranol and Novozymes announced an agreement that will ensure the final optimization of Terranol’s C5 yeast strain and give Novozymes the rights to register and market the company’s C5 yeast technology. The partnership will allow Novozymes to speed up global rollout of Terranol’s yeast to customers in the cellulosic ethanol industry. The yeast strain has been optimized to convert C5 sugars and works under standard ethanol fermentation temperatures. The yeast fermentation process takes approximately 48 hours to convert both xylose and glucose sugars in the biomass broth.

17. The former Minnesota Energy ethanol plant located near Buffalo Lake, Minn., is back online. The 25 MMgy plant, which has been renamed Purified Renewable Energy LLC, was idled in late 2009. Backed by a private equity group in New York, Steve Walker, the plant’s new president, and Patrick Riggs, vice president and chief financial officer, purchased the plant and unofficially took possession on April 10. The permit transfer process was complete in July, and the title was officially transferred in September. The facility was built in 1997 and currently employs 29 people.


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