Benefuel raises $11M from Series C first close; Suncor is a new lead investor 

July 8, 2014 |

From Texas, we hear that Benefuel announced that it has closed $11 million in the first tranche of its offering of Series C Preferred Stock. A U.S. subsidiary of Suncor Energy, Canada’s leading integrated energy company was the primary subscriber. The first tranche also included Flint Hills Resources and other existing shareholders. Additionally, Benefuel and Suncor have agreed to work jointly to advance the commercialization and deployment of Benefuel’s patented ENSEL technology in Canada and the United States.

More about Benefuel

We looked closely at Benefuel as one of the leading new “neodiesel” companies. We wrote: Although REG has been a pioneer in the introduction of a diversified feedstock set, we were impressed to hear this month of the first commercial-scale use of an innovative biodiesel technology through a joint venture between Benefuel  and FHR known as Duonix .

Benefuel’s ENSEL technology updates 75-year-old chemistry to provide an exciting new process for next-generation renewable fuel and industrial chemicals production. The technology is unique because it allows the use of lower cost, high free fatty acid (FFA) feedstocks such as animal tallow, unrefined oils, used vegetable oils or distillers corn oil. This is accomplished through the use of a solid catalyst that combines esterification and transesterification into a single step, which has been a long-standing goal of the biodiesel industry. The process also ensures the final product meets or exceeds all domestic and European biodiesel standards.

Flint Hills Resources will begin retrofitting the Beatrice, Nebraska biodiesel plant for a planned commencement of operations during the summer of 2015. Once the Duonix Beatrice plant is operational, it will produce approximately 50 million gallons of biodiesel each year and employ about 45 people in the local community.

Reaction on the deal announce

“Suncor joins an already strong team of investors and development partners that includes Flint Hills Resources, the largest operating subsidiary of Koch Industries, and ITOCHU Corp, one of Japan’s largest trading companies,” said Rob Tripp, Chief Executive Officer of Benefuel. “This was the first close of our Series C Preferred Stock offering, and we look forward to bringing in additional investors of this caliber.”

“This has been an exciting couple of months for Benefuel,” Tripp continued, “Last month we announced the beginning of the retrofitting of our Beatrice facility, and now this agreement. Even in this short period of time we have seen growth in biodiesel markets around the world, including most recently in Brazil and Southeast Asia, where the mandated blend ratios for biodiesel have increased significantly. This additional demand means opportunity for us as a low-cost producer, and we look forward to working with our current and future partners to bring the ENSEL® technology to other parts of the world.”

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