Renewable Fuel Co. Gives Green Light to New Manufacturing Plant

Aug. 14, 2012
The company’s technology platform converts biomass into renewable crude oil. The oil is processed, using standard refinery equipment, into gasoline, diesel and fuel oil blendstocks that are compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure.

KiOR, a Pasadena, Texas next-generation renewable fuels company, announced today that it is on schedule to commission its Columbus, Mississippi facility.

While presenting its second quarter earnings CEO Fred Cannon explained that with startup scheduled for September, the facility “will be providing America's first truly sustainable cellulosic gasoline and diesel for American vehicles."

He was also happy to report that the final construction costs for the facility will be about 4% under the company’s latest cost estimate.

The Columbus plant creates over 150 new jobs and will yield enough fuel to meet the annual transportation needs of over 20,000 families, according to the company.

The company’s technology platform converts biomass into renewable crude oil.  The oil is processed, using standard refinery equipment, into gasoline, diesel and fuel oil blendstocks that are compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure.

"In addition to the progress at the Columbus facility, our research and development efforts have generated major advances to our proprietary biomass-to-fuels technology,” Cannon added.  “Once implemented, we believe that these improvements should allow us to increase our nameplate capacity up to 20% and significantly decrease the capital intensity of our facilities."

Last month the company was granted Part 79 registration for its Renewable Gasoline Blendstock 5 by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The registration, required by manufacturers of motor vehicle fuels by the EPA, must be completed prior to the sale of the product.

"Part 79 registration is a landmark  as KiOR's gasoline is the first renewable cellulosic gasoline that the EPA has registered for sale in the United States," said Cannon "With this registration, ours breakthrough cellulosic gasoline will be fueling cars of American consumers this year, providing a truly renewable fuel option that uses only sustainable non-food feedstock, reduces greenhouse gases, creates American jobs, and reduces our dependence on imported oil."

Even though the company lost $23 million in the most recent quarter the stock climbed 5.9%.  The company went public in June 2011 and last year lost $40.6 million. 

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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