Business Briefs

By Staff | January 28, 2014

Growth Energy has added two new members to its communications team. Ryan Lamke will serve as communications manager, while Courtney Henderson has joined as communications assistant. Lamke will be responsible for strategic planning, grassroots communications, and managing and coordinating social and traditional media efforts to expand Growth Energy’s public relations, legislative affairs and membership agendas. Prior to joining Growth Energy, he was an independent consultant providing strategic communications support to various individuals and nonprofits. He has experience working in government and public relations for a variety of companies. Henderson will be responsible for monitoring media coverage of the biofuels industry, as well as expanding Growth Energy’s digital presence through social media platforms. She will also support the overall mission of the communications team and membership of Growth Energy. Henderson previously worked as a digital media consultant. 

Lamberton, Minn.-based Highwater Ethanol LLC has joined the Renewable Fuels Association. The plant, which began operations in 2009, has a nameplate capacity of 50 MMgy. In addition to ethanol, the facility produces 160,000 tons of dried distillers grains with solubles, some of which goes back to local farmers as wetcake. Highwater Ethanol recently partnered with Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC to retrofit its ethanol plant to produce biobutanol.   

Aventine Renewable Energy has named Lee Olson as wet mill/coproduct area supervisor for its 165 MMgy wet mill and dry mill plants in Pekin, Ill. Olson’s experience in production management includes good manufacturing practices, process safety management, hazmat procedures and processes regulated by the FDA, EPA and OSHA. He spent the previous two years as production shift associate team leader managing the Roquette corn wet-milling plant in Keokuk, Iowa. He also previously served as production supervisor at Valero Energy Corp. ethanol plants in Welcome, Minn., and Bloomingburg, Ohio, and was a boiler operator and energy center supervisor at Patriot Renewable Fuels in Davenport, Iowa.  

Maple Energy plc has announced that Ricardo Vega Llona and Eduardo Andrés Beffermann Córdova will serve on its board of directors as nonexecutive directors. Llona has served as a senator in the Peruvian congress and as a member of the Integration Advisory Council of the Peruvian government’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Tourism and Integration. He has also served as the executive director of the Investment Promotion Agency and the Export Promotion Fund. Córdova serves as portfolio manager at Bancard, and investment holding company based in Chile, and was previously vice chief financial officer of Bancard.  

Just Energy Group Inc. has sold Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan-based Terra Grain Fuels Inc. to a group of Saskatchewan businesses.  Under the agreement, the purchasers acquired Terra Grain, including all of its outstanding debt, for a nominal purchase price. Just Energy will be released from all of its obligations to service providers to Terra Grain under letters of credit and guarantees. The transaction closed Dec. 24.  

Proterro Inc. was issued U.S. Patent No. 8,597,914 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, protecting its biosynthetic sugar-making process. The company’s photosynthetic microorganisms and its genetic code were already protected by U.S. Patent No. 8,367,379, a composition of matter patent covering the sequence and assembly of discrete genes of engineered cyanobacteria and the cyanobacteria themselves. The new patent protects the entire process of making fermentable sugar, from introducing the microorganisms into the photobioreactor through isolating the sugar.    

Mascoma Corp. has announced that its consolidated bioprocessing technology has been used to produce more than 1 billion gallons of renewable fuel. The achievement is a key milestone for its MGT yeast products, including TransFerm and TransFerm Yield [plus].  

The U.S. EPA has appointed Francesca Grifo as its new scientific integrity official. In her new role, Grifo will coordinate and carryout the agency’s scientific integrity policy. She will also chair a standing EPA scientific integrity committee. Grifo has many years of experience in scientific research, academia and scientific policy. She most recently served as a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.   

BioPower Operations Corp. has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Global Energy Crops Corp. entered into a 50-50 joint venture agreement with Alternative Green Today LLC to license the joint venture’s intellectual property for the production of cellulosic biofuels. Targeted companies will include oil companies, sugar companies and other producers of ethanol and transportation fuels. Global Energy will manage the joint venture.   

Deinove has announced Jacqueline Lecourtier will chair and lead the deliberations of its scientific advisory board. She is an engineer with École Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques (French Higher National Institute of Chemical Engineering). She spent 25 years with the French Institute of Petroleum—New Energies, where she served as scientific director from 2006 through 2011. She led the the Agence Nationale de la Recherche from 2006 to 2012.  

Superior Tank Co. Inc.’s bolted steel water tanks for fire protection were awarded certification from FM Approvals. The designation ensures the product meets or exceeds seismic standards, wind loads, FM property standards, municipal water utility requirements, ISO compliance, engineering specifications, material quality and National Fire Protection Agency standards. Superior Tank offers a variety of custom-sized tanks for storage of water used in fire suppression and municipal potable water distribution.  

China New Energy Ltd. has won contracts with Visontai Bioetanol Fejlesztő Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság and Helvéciai Biouzemanyag Termelö es Kereskedo Kft to develop two corn ethanol plants in Hungary. The first project is expected to reach full commercial production in 2016 and will have the capacity to produce 150,000 liters (39,625.81 gallons) of ethanol per day. The development timeline for the second project is dependent on Viscontai and Helvécia reaching fundraising milestones. Once complete, that plant will be capable of producing 300,000 liters of ethanol per day.