BP invests $30 million in Fulcrum BioEnergy

Jim Macias, Fulcrum president and CEO, left, and David Gilmour, BP vice president - technology, commercialization and ventures, observe operations at Fulcrum’s Sierra BioFuels feedstock processing facility.

Fulcrum BioEnergy, Pleasanton, California, and BP, with U.S. headquarters in Houston, have signed a major strategic partnership that includes a $30 million equity investment in Fulcrum by BP. With Fulcrum’s first plant under construction, this partnership accelerates the construction schedule for Fulcrum’s next renewable jet fuel plants, the company says.

Fulcrum is leading the development of a process for transforming municipal solid waste into transportation fuels including jet fuel and diesel.

Fulcrum and Air BP, the aviation division of BP, also have agreed to terms on a jet fuel offtake agreement that will provide Air BP with 50 million gallons per year of low-carbon, drop-in jet fuel.

Air BP also will have the opportunity to provide fuel supply chain services for the blending, certification and delivery of Fulcrum’s jet fuel to commercial and military aviation customers.

This transaction represents Fulcrum’s fourth major corporate investment and partnership following similar deals with United Airlines, Waste Management and Cathay Pacific, says the company.

“Entering into this strategic relationship with a global oil and gas company enhances the value of Fulcrum’s waste to fuel platform,” says E. James Macias, Fulcrum’s president and CEO. “This allows us to accelerate development of our second and third plants. With BP’s expertise in refining and fuel services, their partnership provides value beyond the investment, fuel offtake and logistic services,” adds Macias.

“We are delighted to be a strategic partner with Fulcrum,” says Jon Platt CEO of Air BP. “The aviation industry has set ambitious lower carbon goals. This agreement gives Air BP guaranteed access to low-carbon jet fuel to help our customers meet these goals. We are excited by the opportunities that this partnership offers.”

In building strong strategic partnerships with industry leaders, Fulcrum has entered into long-term agreements for feedstock, fuel offtake and fuel logistic services to advance its development platform.

Fulcrum is accelerating the development of additional, larger-scale projects across North America that will have the capacity to produce more than 300 million gallons annually of renewable transportation fuels, it says. Its jet fuel will be cost competitive with fossil jet fuel, providing airlines with a low-carbon alternative, the company says.

Shell offers $26 million for Abengoa facility

Shell Oil, with U.S. offices in Houston, has offered more than $26 million to buy Abengoa Bioenergy’s cellulosic ethanol plant in Kansas.

Abengoa, with U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, shut down the facility after its Madrid, Spain-based parent company’s bankruptcy in February 2016.

Shell’s bid on the Hugoton, Kansas, facility is the company’s latest step into renewable fuels.

The company offered the amount as a “stalking horse” bid, meaning it serves as an initial base bid in the auction process. The company asked the U.S. bankruptcy court in Kansas to expedite sale hearing.

The 25-million-gallon facility turned plant waste into biofuel that met the country’s Renewable Fuel Standards before being shut down.