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miércoles, 9 de mayo de 2018

Red Rock Biofuels commences construction of its biorefinery in Oregon

Type of post: NEWS.

After many years of development, Red Rock Biofuels LLC (RRB) has announced the initiation of the building of its biorefinery in Oregon (see “Red Rock gets go-ahead for Lakeview”, Herald and News, 15/4/2018). The ground breaking ceremony is planned by later this summer. RRB is a subsidiary of IR1 Group LLC and was created with a dual objective: (1) valorize the forest debris that fuels the widespread and devastating wildfires in the Western United States; (2) respond to the rising demand for drop-in, cost competitive renewable jet and diesel fuels. By using forest and sawmill residues, RRB’s biorefinery will not only avoid competition for agricultural resources, but also reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. It will also help to regenerate the local forestry industry.

Project key data

Lakeview (Oregon, USA).
The site is fully permitted and it is situated next to: an interstate natural gas pipeline, the State Highway 395 and a line rail.
Feedstock and processing capacity
136,000 tons of waste woody biomass gathered from thinning projects.
Products and production capacity
15.1 million gallons of renewable fuels (including diesel and jet fuel).
They are ASTM-approved fuels currently in use globally.
Process technologies
- Gasification.
- Fischer-Tropsch.
- Hydroprocessing.
Funding sources
A combination of bonds and equity.
Fuel offtake agreements
RRB has in place contracts from companies to purchase 100% of the jet fuel produced each year (for instance, with Southwest Airlines and FedEx).
Initial estimates had the facility opening by 2016, but negotiations and the permitting process hit several snags.
Construction is estimated to take 18 months, with operations planned to start in 2020.

Figure 1. Process technologies of the RRB biorefinery (extracted from RRB website)

Involvement of Velocys in the project

Velocys plc has received a “notice to proceed” action to commence manufacturing of the Fischer-Tropsch reactors and catalyst for the RRB biorefinery (see press release, 4/5/2018). Its role in the project will be as a technology licensor and it is expected to deliver around 15 M$ of revenues during the construction and early operation stages of the plant, and an additional 30 M$ over the life of the biorefinery. Over 6 M$ has already been invoiced and received from RRB.

The licensing of its technology to RRB is complementary to its strategy to develop its own biorefineries, the first of which will be located in Natchez, Mississippi (see “Velocys plans for the construction of a commercial BTL plant move forward”, 29/6/2017).

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