Genera Energy: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

April 2, 2015 |

5-Minute-Guide-logoGenera Energy “leads the nation in the commercialization of integrated biomass supply chain solutions for the biofuels, biopower and biochemicals markets.”

Initially formed in 2008, Genera works with leading technology providers and strategic investors to develop and deliver customized biomass supply chain solutions tailored to specific process technologies and geographic regions.

The company offers services that range from turn-key biomass supply chains solutions to individual component services such as feasibility studies, land acquisition, energy crop establishment and production, harvesting, storage and logistics, non-crop biomass aggregation, and preprocessing of biomass crops into uniform format feedstocks. The Energy Grange and Supply Assure systems from Genera remove risks from feedstock production and make the supply chain an efficient part of the operation. Additionally, the company has experience in biomass material handling, grinding and milling, and conveyances. Its BIN-SPEC system allows for the optimization of the milling process to make size reduction cost-effective and energy efficient. Genera works with a variety of feedstocks for our customers, including switchgrass, miscanthus, energy cane, biomass sorghum, among others.

Current clients include oil industry majors, multiple strategic biorefinery/technology developers, and operating advanced fuel companies, among others. Genera has the solid reputation and experience to meet your feedstock needs. Genera is a privately held company, headquartered in Tennessee and conducting business around the nation.

Rankings

The 40 Hottest Smaller Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy: #22, 2014-15

The Situation

Genera Energy has come up with a biomass management methodology that results in a 13% reduction in the delivered cost of biomass feedstock — or as much as $4 million per year for large-scale cellulosic biofuels systems.

The nearly $10 per dry ton savings come via a combination of reducing transportation costs (by delivering lower moisture bales), reducing dry matter losses in storage, and scheduling inventory rotation to take best advantage of nonlinear deterioration rates of the biological material over time.

Genera has enshrined the best practices in its Energy Grange and Supply ASSURE feedstock management systems, which will work with a wide range of project scales — Genera customers working on projects that range, for example, from 400,000 tons per year projects all the way down to 60,000 ton projects (around 5 million gallons of fuel per year).

Top Past Milestones

In March 2015, the company’s single pass forage harvest system, also known as a field chopping system, set new records this year for switchgrass harvesting efficiency — up to 67 truckloads of feedstock biomass utilizing one harvester in a 12-hour period. In addition to field chopping, Genera also demonstrated improvements in bale harvest systems for both biomass sorghum and switchgrass, utilizing a self-propelled swather and a large square baler. Genera successfully demonstrated a method for in-field drying to reduce the moisture content of biomass sorghum to below 25 percent, allowing more conventional baling and longer-term storage.

In June 2014, Genera Energy announced a partnership with the Center for Renewable Carbon program at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. The goal of the IBSS Partnership is to demonstrate the production of advanced biofuels from sustainable sources of lignocellulosic biomass. The program focuses on perennial switchgrass, and short-rotation woody crops such as eucalyptus and pine.

Other milestones include:

• Design, construction and operation of the country’s first and most comprehensive biomass processing and handling facility, the 22-acre Biomass Innovation Park in Vonore, Tennessee.

  • • Beginning of commercial operations with more than one dozen commercial contracts for biomass supply and/or services.
  • • Continued innovation and refinement of dedicated energy crop product, logistics, and preprocessing systems through private and federal R&D activities and commercial operations. These innovations reduce feedstock costs, increase operating efficiencies and reduce feedstock risk to project developers.

3 Major Milestone Goals

  • Execution and operation of additional commercial scale biomass projects through long-term biomass supply relationships with large-scale strategic bioconversion customers.
  • Implementation of targeted innovations and efficiencies identified across the fully integrated biomass supply chain to reduce the cost of consistent, high quality biomass supply by 20%.
  • Further improvements in Genera’s proprietary BIN-SPEC milling and processing system to achieve targeted reductions of 15% in energy consumption and $5 per milled ton of delivered product.

 

Business Model

1. Biomass Supply Chain Management Services – Through this business model, Genera provides management services on a fee-basis to conversion facility operators. Services are provided under a long-term (10-20 year) contract with the project owner/entity. These management services include management & performance of land recruitment, ag production, logistics, inventory control, and preprocessing. Under this business model, the project entity holds land contracts, bears risks and Genera charges fees based on tons under management for management services.

  • 2. Biomass Consulting Services – Genera provides a wide array of biomass consulting services as precursors to Biomass Supply Chain Management Services or Turnkey Biomass Supply Chain contracts. These services include using Genera’s proprietary feedstock model for feedstock selection, feasibility, cost projection, scaling, and energy crop & processing R&D impacts on the supply chain. This type of feedstock support is extremely important for project financing. These services have a broad industry client base.
  • 3. Turnkey Biomass Supply – In offering Turnkey Biomass Supply Solutions, Genera establishes a long-term (10-20 year) contract with the project owner/entity to provide a fixed price per ton of biomass delivered. This solution is for full scale biomass supply, where Genera delivers biomass that meets customer specifications. Genera owns and/or manages land recruitment and contracting, ag assets, as well as logistics & processing facilities. Genera owns and controls entire supply chain service, bearing risk and cap-ex. 

 

Competitive Edge

  • • Genera offers a fully Integrated Biomass Feedstock Supply Chain solution that is custom tailored to each customer’s need.
  • • Genera has an extensive network of partners in R&D, equipment manufacturing, conversion technologies and beyond. Between those partners and the unrivaled experience of the company’s employees with dedicated energy crops, Genera is the most skilled solutions provider in the industry.
  • • Genera operates under a philosophy of continuous innovation. Our team constantly looks for ways to improve agronomic management, logistics and inventory control, preprocessing, and other facets of the supply chain. Our innovation has consistently led to cost reductions throughout the supply chain.

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