Business Briefs

By Ron Kotrba | July 31, 2014

John Campbell, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture and a highly regarded 35-year veteran of renewable energy, agribusiness and policy, has joined Ocean Park Advisors, a corporate finance advisory firm. Based in Los Angeles, OPA is a leading advisor to biofuels and other agribusiness companies. Campbell will serve as managing director based in Omaha, Neb. His duties will be to broaden the company’s relationships, develop new business and help execute transactions. Campbell spent 21 years with Ag Processing Inc. (AGP) where he was an executive vice president responsible for leading the industrial products division. He is credited as being one of the driving forces behind the creation of the U.S. biodiesel industry. Under Campbell’s leadership, AGP constructed the first commercial-scale biodiesel plant in North America followed by numerous other expansions, projects and acquisitions.


Hydro Dynamics Inc. of Rome, Ga., announced that complete biodiesel plants incorporating its cavitation-based ShockWave Power Reactor are now available for the ethanol industry. In order to offer ethanol plants a seamless “bolt-on biodiesel” solution, HDI is expanding its existing relationships with World Energy of Boston and Phibro Ethanol Performance Group of Teaneck, N.J. HDI previously partnered with World Energy’s WMG Services business unit for sale of the SPR to the biodiesel industry. This new venture expands the cooperative offering to include not only the SPR, but complete plants designed by WMG Services. Phibro Ethanol Performance Group is the exclusive marketer of Lactrol antimicrobial to the ethanol industry and HDI has been partnered with Phibro for commercializing the SPR to enhance yield.

Evonik Industries is investing in the Northville, Mich.-based algae technology startup, Algal Scientific Corp. Evonik is part of an investors’ consortium that is investing more than $3 million in a Series A financing round. Under the trade name Algamune, ASC markets 1,3-β-glucan, a polysaccharide that strengthens immune response. It is used as an additive in animal feeds and as a nutritional supplement, as well as in pharmaceutical formulations. According to Evonik, this is the first time it has been possible to obtain β-glucan from algae on an industrial scale. ASC has developed a new technology for this purpose and is in the process of starting up the first commercial production plant in Michigan. β-glucan is usually extracted from grain or produced using yeasts or fungi. ASC’s new biotechnological process needs fewer production steps while generating significantly higher yields.

Renewable Energy Group Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, REG Synthetic Fuels LLC, has closed acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Syntroleum Corp. Syntroleum advised REG in early June that a majority of its shareholders had voted to approve the asset sale to REG. Shortly after the Syntroleum stockholders’ meeting, officials from the two companies completed the transaction, which included the issuance of 3,493,613 shares of REG common stock to Syntroleum. The assets acquired from Syntroleum include a 50 percent ownership interest in Dynamic Fuels LLC, which owns a 75 MMgy nameplate capacity renewable diesel biorefinery located in Geismar, La. REG has a separate pending agreement with Tyson Foods Inc. to acquire the remaining interests in Dynamic Fuels. Most of the employees at Syntroleum’s Tulsa, Okla., headquarters will join REG as part of the newly formed REG Synthetic Fuels.

Methes Energies International Ltd. has received BQ-9000 Producer and Marketer status from the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission. “We are very proud of this achievement,” says Nicholas Ng, president of Methes Energies. “There are not many companies that are both accredited as a producer and a marketer by the NBAC.”

Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy is partnering with WB Services LLC to integrate a 3 MMgy renewable diesel production facility into its existing 40 MMgy ethanol plant. WB Services will design, construct and operate the renewable diesel plant utilizing patented renewable diesel process technology. Ron Beemiller, president and CEO of WB Services, says, “This plant will be the first of its kind—the first renewable diesel plant to fully integrate into an existing ethanol operation.” In addition to renewable diesel, the new plant will produce denaturant, fuel gas and steam for use at the existing facility. Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy also has a significant investment in the renewable and biodiesel plants under construction by Green Energy Products in Sedgwick, Kan.

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