Business Briefs

People, Partnerships & Deals
By Ethanol Producer Magazine Staff | April 01, 2013

1. Critical Path Management LLC, a provider of process consulting and construction management services for the ethanol and process industries, has added Peter Schrandt to its team. As project manager for the full range of CPM clients and services, Schrandt will initially focus on business development activities with Arisdyne Systems Inc.’s controlled flow cavitation technology. CPM has been working with the company since 2009, introducing clients to controlled flow cavitation systems for enhanced yield. Schrandt has worked at several ethanol plants, including Didion Ethanol and United Wisconsin Grain Producers. 

2. Edeniq Inc. has added Dan Michalopoulos to its core technology team. He brings more than 20 years of experience in both business and academia across chemical technology and alternative fuel sectors to his new position. As a member of the technology team, Michalopoulos will assume a pivotal role in the continued development and deployment of Edeniq’s enzyme strategies.  Michalopoulos previously served as director of technology at Ineos Bio, where he was responsible for leading a multidisciplinary team of engineers and scientists in designing an ethanol production process that couples biomass gasification with anaerobic fermentation. 

3. Novozymes has announced an agreement to acquire Iogen Bio-Products, the industrial enzyme business of Ottawa-based Iogen Corp. for $67.5 million, along with potential earn-out payments of up to $12.5 million. The deal provides Novozymes with all commercial rights to Iogen Bio-Products’ existing product portfolio, pipeline, facilities, and know-how. While Novozymes will acquire all of Iogen’s industrial enzyme business through the deal, the acquisition does not include the purchase of assets that relate to Iogen’s bioenergy process technologies. The transaction was expected to close in late February.

4. Proterro Inc. has added David Austgen as its first chief business development officer. Austgen was previously employed by Luca Technologies, a clean energy company. As chief development officer of the company, he headed the development of global partnerships and acquisitions and divestitures in the U.S. Austgen has also held a variety of positions within the Shell family of companies, including senior business and joint venture manager of alternative energy and biofuels at Shell Downstream Inc., where he led biofuel business development in Brazil during 2008. 

5. Israel-based Rosetta Green has entered into an agreement to sell most of its assets to Monsanto Co. for $35 million, including its intellectual property. Rosetta Green’s core technology centers on MicroRNAs, which are short RNA molecules that regulate gene expression. The company uses its technology to develop plants with improved traits, such as drought tolerance and increased oil content. Regarding biofuels, the company has several projects and collaborations, including those related to the development of corn, sorghum, castor bean, jatropha and soybean feedstocks. 

6. Brazil-based ETH Bioenergy, a company of the Odebrecht Group that produces ethanol, sugar and biopower, and Inbicon, a Danish company owned by DONG Energy that has developed a cellulosic ethanol production process, have announced an agreement to bring second-generation ethanol to the Brazilian market. The partnership will combine the industrial and commercial expertise of ETH with the technology and know-how of Inbicon to accelerate the development of technologies to produce ethanol and other products from lignocellulosic raw materials, including sugarcane bagasse. The first phase of the cooperation agreement covers, among other activities, joint research on the feasibility of ethanol production from sugarcane waste. 

7. Valero Energy Corp. resumed operations at its 120 MMgy ethanol plant in Albion, Neb., during the first week of February, citing improved margins. The facility was idled in mid-2012 for economic reasons. It is now operating at near nameplate capacity. 

8. The RSB Services Foundation, the implementing entity of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, a global sustainability standard and certification system for biofuel production, has named Richard Palmer as a board member. Palmer is president and CEO of Global Clean Energy Holdings Inc., multi-national biofuels and renewable chemicals feedstock provider. He also serves as trustee and president of the Center for Sustainable Energy Farming. Palmer has more than 30 years of senior-level management experience. 

9. Praj Industries has received an order for an ethanol plant from Riopaila Castilla SA. The facility will be installed at the company’s sugar plant at La Paila in the Valle del Cauca region of Colombia. The order, worth $20 million, includes a state-of-the-art process plant to produce 400,000 liters (105,669 gallons) per day of ethanol from sugarcane juice and molasses feedstocks. The facility will feature Praj’s vacuum distillation and thermal integration with vinasse evaporation technologies. 

10. Guardian Energy Heron Lake LLC has signed an agreement to acquire the ethanol production assets of Heron Lake BioEnergy LLC, a 50 MMgy ethanol plant located in Heron Lake, Minn. The transaction also includes a 73 percent ownership interest in Heron Lake BioEnergy’s subsidiary Agrinatural Gas LLC, a pipeline company formed to construct, own and operate a pipeline to supply natural gas to the ethanol plant through a connection with the pipeline facilities of Northern Border Pipeline Co. The facility became operational in 2007 and has 35 full-time employees. Guardian Energy Heron Lake is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian Energy Heron Lake Holdings LLC, which is owned by Al-Corn Clean Fuel Cooperative, Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co., Heartland Corn Products and KAAPA Ethanol LLC. 

11. Global Partners LP has announced the acquisition of the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery in Clatskanie, Ore., along with an onsite rail transloading facility serviced by the BNSF Railway, 200,000 barrels of storage capacity, a deepwater marine terminal and a 1,200 food dock. Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery is an idled 110 MMgy ethanol plant previously purchased by Cascade Kelly Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of JH Kelly Holdings LLC, one of the contractors that built the Delta-T-designed plant. The former Cascade Grain Products ethanol plant operated for approximately six months in 2008 before idling. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, and later changed to Chapter 7.


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