Imperium Renewables Lands $214 Million in Funding and Financing
“I am super excited to have such a world class group of new investors, as well as a prominent alternative energy bank such as Société Générale to help us grow today and well into the future,” said Martin Tobias, CEO and Chairman of Imperium Renewables. “We have the technology, the team and the funding to fulfill our goal to be the largest producer of biodiesel in the United States within the next 18 months.”
Imperium is expecting to complete construction on its Port of Grays Harbor facility on the coast of Washington state in July, 2007. When complete, the facility will have the capacity to produce up to 100 million gallons of biodiesel per year, making it the largest biodiesel production facility in the United States. The company is using the proceeds from the Series B round to begin planning for up to three additional similarly sized facilities across the country and around the world. The combined facilities will be designed to produce up to a total of 400 million gallons, or about 10 million barrels of biodiesel, per year by the end of 2008.
“We’ve seen Imperium Renewables become a national leader and a voice for the industry in the time that we’ve worked with them,” said Ira Ehrenpreis, General Partner at Technology Partners, the lead investor in Imperium Renewables and an Imperium board member. “With this capital the company is ready to become a global leader.”
Interest is building in renewable energy for three key reasons: growing concerns about our country’s reliance on foreign oil, the greenhouse-gas emissions of petroleum fuel, and recognition that fossil fuels are not a long term solution to global energy needs.
“Imperium is developing a viable alternative to petroleum fuel, and as a leading finance house in alternative fuels we are thrilled to participate in the funding of this promising venture,” said Sebastien Ribatto, Managing Director of Société Générale Bio-Fuels Group.
Existing investors Technology Partners and Nth Power were joined by a number of new investors, including funds affiliated with: Ardsley Partners, Attractor Investment Management Inc., BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Ltd., Capricorn Management, LLC, Ecofin, Robeco C.V., Silver Point Capital, Southport Energy Alternatives, Stark Biodiesel Investments, Ltd., and Treaty Oak Capital Management.
The renewable energy sector saw record amounts of investments in 2006. CleanTech Venture Network reported that $2.6 billion was invested in 2006, up 78 percent from 2005. In the fourth quarter of 2006, a total of $613 million was invested.
Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel made from oils derived from farm crops, and can be used in any conventional diesel engine. It can be used in pure form (100 percent biodiesel, “B100”) or in a “blended” form, in which it replaces a percentage of regular diesel. A U.S. Department of Energy study determined that biodiesel emits about 78 percent less carbon dioxide than petroleum diesel.
Imperium’s process and technology innovations enable it to deliver improvements in product quality and throughput while significantly reducing capital and operating expenditures. The company has developed and deployed several innovations at its commercial scale production facility in Seattle. Imperium’s high quality fuel meets or exceeds ASTM D-6751 specifications, has achieved BQ-9000 certification and is currently sold through a network of the Pacific Northwest’s largest fuel distributors.