Business Briefs

By Staff | December 20, 2013

AssetPoint, a provider of computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) and enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions, announced NuGen Energy LLC has implemented TabWare CMMS/EAM software solution for maintenance management and successfully integrated it with its Microsoft Dynamics GP system. NuGen Energy operates a 110 MMgy ethanol plant in Marion, S.D. The company was formerly known as U.S. Bio Marion LLC, and currently operates as a subsidiary of REX American Resources Corp.   


California Ethanol & Power LLC has promoted David Rubenstein from the position of chief operating officer to president and CEO. Jeffrey Lee, who previously served as president, is assuming the role of manager of project development and general counsel. Prior to joining CE&P, Rubenstein was the president and majority owner of Pacific Diazo Products Inc., which produced and distributed industrial chemicals. Lee previously served as senior development manager with Bechtel Enterprises Inc. and lead counsel for a Bechtel Corp. operating division. The company also recently announced it has received its Authority to Construct permit from California’s Imperial County Air Pollution District. The permit is the final piece of the necessary entitlements for the project. Once complete, the plant will have the capacity to produce 66 million gallons of ethanol, 49.9 megawatts of electricity and 940 million cubic feet of biogas annually. 

The South Dakota Safety Council has awarded a Governor’s Safety Award to Poet Biorefining–Hudson for excellence in workplace safety and health. Awards were presented by South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels in October. Poet Biorefining – Hudson was one of 40 employers recognized at the awards ceremony and one of 25 to win the Meritorious Achievement, which honors companies that have a better-than-average performance in incident rates for their industry. The 56 MMgy plant has been operational since 2004.  


Algenol Biofuels has joined the Advanced Ethanol Council. The company is focused on commercializing its patented algae technology platform for the production of ethanol and other biofuels. Algenol’s Direct to Ethanol technology uses sunlight, algae, non-arable land and carbon dioxide to produce ethanol and waste biomass that can be converted into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. 


Greenbelt Resources Corp. and its wholly owned subsidiary Diversified Ethanol Corp. have announced the selection of Hitachi Zosen Corp. as a collaborator on its proprietary dehydration module. Greenbelt has successfully integrated the high-performance zeolite ceramic membrane innovation from Hitachi Zosen to achieve a higher purity ethanol through efficient extraction of residual moisture. Hitachi Zosen has operated a similar zeolite membrane in continuous commercial service since March 2009. In addition to technical support, the company has conducted hands-on training for membrane installations and participated with Greenbelt in system stress and performance testing. 

Carbo Analytics has appointed Amit Kumar to its board of advisors. He has been an investor, founder, director and CEO of several technology enterprises. As CEO of CombiMatrix Corp., he took the company public and ran it for a decade. He has also worked in venture capital with OAK Investment Partners and has been an advisor to investment funds, venture capital firms and Fortune 500 companies. Kumar served on the board of directors for Acacia Research Corp. from 2002 through 2008 and is currently CEO of Geo Fossil Fuels.   

Mascoma Corp. has appointed Steve Percy and Dan Nelson to its board of directors. Percy is the former chairman and CEO of BP America Inc. Since retiring from BP, he has served as the head of Phillips Petroleum’s refining, marketing and transportation company, and served as a visiting professor of corporate strategy and international business at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He previously served as a member of President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development and as co-chair of its Climate Change Task Force. Nelson is the former vice president of ExxonMobil. He spent 25 years with the company, most recently as vice president of government relations. He previously held a variety of senior positions with the corporation, both in the U.S. and internationally. 


After one year on the market, Novozymes Avantec is now used to produce more than 20 percent of total corn ethanol volumes in the U.S., while Novozymes Spirizyme Achieve is used to produce more than 10 percent of U.S. corn ethanol after only four months on the market. On average, Avantec increases ethanol yield by 2.5 percent while reducing energy use by 2 percent. Spirizyme Achieve increases yield by 1.5 percent while reducing energy use by 3 percent.  


Coshocton, Ohio-based Three Rivers Energy LLC has signed a commercial agreement to use Syngenta’s Enogen corn. The 50 MMgy facility, which began operations in October after sitting idle for several years, is operated by Lakeview Energy LLC. A sister facility also owned by Lakeview Energy, the 50 MMgy Plymouth Energy LLC plant in Merrill, Iowa, signed an agreement with Syngenta for the use of Enogen corn last year. That facility recently received its first shipment of Enogen corn.  


Cargill recently announced it has begun operations at its 115 MMgy corn wet mill ethanol plant in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Cargill purchased the previously idle facility from Tate & Lyle in 2011. At full production, the plant will consume 150,000 bushels of corn per day and produce a variety of products, including ethanol, dextrose and SweetBran feed for cattle. 


Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. has acquired two 110 MMgy ethanol plants previously owned by BioFuel Energy Corp. from an entity composed of its lender group. The two facilities included in the transaction are the Pioneer Trail Energy plant in Wood River, Neb., and the Buffalo Lake Energy facility in Fairmont, Minn. 

The Renewable Fuels Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization and Growth Energy filed a motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbus Circuit in early November to intervene in support of the U.S. EPA’s renewable fuel standard (RFS) 2013 final rule, which is currently being challenged by Monroe Energy, the American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. 

Ceres Inc. and Syngenta AG have extended their joint marketing development agreement in Brazil, where Ceres has been introducing its sweet sorghum and high-biomass sorghum varieties at Brazilian ethanol mills. The two companies will continue to collaborate on field evaluations with the mills. Syngenta will evaluate its portfolio of crop protection products alongside Ceres hybrids, while Ceres will provide seed and research support.