Gevo highlights recent accomplishments in Q2 results

By Erin Voegele | August 08, 2013

Gevo Inc. has released financial results for the second quarter of 2013, reporting revenues of $1.9 million, down from $7 million during the same period of 2012. The decreased revenue level is attributed to the cessation of ethanol production in 2012. While revenue in the second quarter of 2012 was primarily related to the sale of ethanol and related products, revenues reported for the second quarter of this year included proceeds of $900,000 million from further reduction of Gevo’s corn inventory, $300,000 million in sales of biobased jet fuel to the U.S. Air Force, and revenue from its agreement with Coca-Cola Co. and from ongoing research agreements.

During a call to discuss the quarterly results, Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber stressed that the company’s focus is totally on startup production of isobutanol at its Luverne, Minn., facility. “It is the most important thing we are doing,” he said. “It is the pathway for generating value for our shareholders. Our initial production rounds have gone very well.”

After encountering some issues with microbial contamination last year, Gevo made several modifications to the plant. These improvements include changes to fermentation conditions, equipment modifications to improve sanitization, and procures to enhance operating discipline. According to Gruber, the company has now learned to control and manage those infections in the production environment.

The plant recently restarted isobutanol production. In June, Gevo announced the resumption of commercial-scale production in single-train mode. On Aug. 1 the company announced it had expanded production to start up a second 1 million fermenter and GIFT system. “Our focus on turns to bringing the last fermenters and the GIFT system online,” he said. “We expect to do that in the third and fourth quarters.”

According to Gruber, Gevo has learned that it can reduce infections by more than a thousand fold, and has confirmed that its full-scale production operates as predicted in pilot plant experiments. Once the entire plant is operational, Gruber said the company plans on doing a rate test to find what—if any—bottlenecks remain.

Gruber also noted that Gevo will be increasing its focus on sales and market development now that it has product to sell. “Our intent is to seed markets—get the channels to market prime to accept increasing amounts of isobutanol,” he said. “Our focus in the market will continue to be on special chemicals and special fuels. We need to get the plant going and show our customers that we can supply consistently.”