Nova Pangaea, Aemetis, World Energy, Gevo, USA BioEnergy, Sherdar Australia Bio Refinery, DG Fuels, and Sweetwater commercialization

March 6, 2022 |

Nova Pangaea Technologies, the UK cleantech company at the heart of the drive to Net Zero, started the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study for its first commercial plant in the UK. Aemetis, Gevo, USA BioEnergy, DG Fuels and others have also announced feedstock deals, loans, front-end engineering design, and projects that are ramping up and on their way to commercialization. It’s an exciting level of progress giving us a glimpse into how the bioeconomy is going.

In today’s Digest, a look at some of the latest companies like Nova Pangaea, Aemetis, World Energy, Gevo, USA BioEnergy, Sherdar Australia Bio Refinery, DG Fuels, and Sweetwater making progress towards their first commercial projects, deals, loans, and more.

Nova Pangaea

Let’s start with the latest news from Nova Pangaea Technologies, the UK cleantech company at the heart of the drive to Net Zero, that they have started the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study for its first commercial plant in the UK. This is a huge next step towards plant construction and commercial production.

The company, based in Redcar on Teesside, developed proprietary technology (REFNOVA) that converts biomass, such as forestry and agricultural residues, into sustainable sugars and biochar. NPT’s technology will help reduce the dependency on fossil fuels for a wide range of applications, leading the way to enable decarbonisation across sectors such as transport (sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)) and industrial applications such as green steel.

Once concluded the FEED study will confirm the design which will allow NPT to move into continuous plant operation resulting in the annual production of 10,000 tonnes of sustainable biocarbons and 6 million litres of bioethanol which can then be used for SAF.

Sarah Ellerby, CEO, said “The FEED study will be complete in April, and we will then start the detailed engineering design and construction. We hope to be in operation in Q1 next year with bioethanol production in Q2. With very little non-food derived bioethanol globally, this is quite an accomplishment for NPT and more broadly, the UK’s supply chain and net zero agenda. We hope to make further announcements regarding the site location and partners soon”.


As just reported today in The Digest, Aemetis closed two new, lower interest rate credit facilities with aggregate availability of up to $100 million, comprised of up to $50 million for projects that produce lower carbon intensity renewable products and up to $50 million for working capital.

The credit facilities are expected to provide funding for the Aemetis projects that reduce the carbon intensity of renewable fuels, including a zero carbon intensity solar array and extensive process equipment electrification upgrades to the Keyes ethanol plant, a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel plant, and carbon sequestration facilities.

The new debt facilities are expected to provide the remaining funding required for engineering and permitting of the Carbon Zero renewable jet and diesel plant in Riverbank, California from Aemetis prior to completion of project debt financing. Aemetis has invested more than $32 million of cash and grants in the renewable jet and diesel plant.

Let’s not forget about the news from over in India that Aemetis’ Universal Biofuels subsidiary in Kakinada, India has agreed to acquire a site to construct a tallow oil refining facility.  The refining facility is designed to supply feedstock to the existing Aemetis 50 million gallon per year biodiesel plant located on the East Coast of India and provide future feedstock supply to the Aemetis 90 million gallon sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel plant being built in Riverbank, California.

And how about the news that Aemetis, Inc. signed an offtake agreement with Japan Airlines for 90 million gallons of blended sustainable aviation fuel to be delivered over the 7-year term of the agreement. The blended sustainable aviation fuel to be supplied under this agreement is 40% SAF and 60% Petroleum Jet A to meet international blending standards.

And moving over to biogas, Aemetis Biogas has completed an additional seven miles of underground pipeline to transport biogas from five new dairy digesters to the centralized Renewable Natural Gas upgrading facility located at the Aemetis Keyes biofuels plant.  Including the four miles of biogas pipeline commissioned in late 2020, Aemetis has now installed more than 11 miles of pipeline and is on track to complete the 36-mile biogas pipeline network in 2022.

It’s no wonder Aemetis is moving the bioeconomy forward – have you seen it’s latest 5 year plan? Just last week, they unveiled their 2022 Five Year Plan that projects the company will generate $1.5 billion in revenues and $461 million of adjusted EBITDA in year 2026. The Revenues plan reflects a projected compound annual growth rate of 39% and the EBITDA plan reflects a projected compound annual growth rate of 79% for the years 2022 to 2026.

Vertimass and World Energy

Not to be outdone, in the United States, Vertimass and World Energy inked a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the development and application of Vertimass Technologies to produce renewable fuels, including sustainable aviation fuel. World Energy is exploring integrating Vertimass’ proprietary alcohol to renewable fuel technologies for the production of SAF, biomass-based diesel, green gasoline, renewable naphtha, and other renewable fuel products.

Through the agreement, the two companies will jointly develop projects to convert alcohols into hydrocarbon fuels using Vertimass’ technology. World Energy may subsequently license Vertimass technology for commercial production.


In Iowa, Gevo has begun the process of bringing its wholly owned dairy manure-based renewable natural gas project online. Located in northwest Iowa, the project is known as Gevo NW Iowa RNG, LLC, and it is expected to produce approximately 355,000 MMBtu of RNG per year.

Let’s not forget about the Kolmar and Gevo financeable fuel supply agreement for 45 million gallons per year (on a neat basis) of renewable, energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons that are expected to be produced from Gevo’s second Net-Zero production facility, Net-Zero 2. Kolmar is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kolmar Group AG that is a privately held service provider, manufacturer, and marketer of renewable fuels headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.

Check out “1 Billion Gallons Per Year by 2030: The Digest’s 2021 Multi-Slide Guide to Gevo” here for how they are working towards 1 billion gallons of low fossil carbon hydrocarbons or more per year by 2030.

USA BioEnergy

Just a few weeks ago, the excitement was hard to contain with $3.4 billion for Newton County, TX as USA BioEnergy sites its first commercial biorefinery for their advanced renewable fuels project. The company expects project completion in late 2025.

Ultimately, the company aims to delivering over 100M gallons of sustainable aviation fuel into LAX annually. They will achieve this by capturing CO2 as part of our process then sequester it in permanent geologic storage deep underground. This gives them, the company relates, “ he lowest carbon intensity score in the industry. We do this as part of our mission to achieve our environmental, social and corporate governance goals and we strive to meet them globally to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” stated Nick Andrews, CEO, USA BioEnergy.

Sherdar Australia Bio Refinery

There was also news from the land down under from Sherdar Australia Bio Refinery Pty Ltd. and their plans to develop a commercial scale renewable diesel processing and storage facility. When in full operation, the facility aims to produce 500,000 metric tons per annum of renewable fuels with lower carbon emissions than conventional fossil fuels. This will position Australia as one of the major renewable fuel producers and exporters in the world, which is in support of Australia Government Policy to forge a sustainable future. Sherdar is currently in the final stages of engineering governmental discussions and receiving relevant approvals for the project.

DG Fuels

While this one came in a few months ago, it’s still worth noting because an unusual suspect became more visible when word arrived that DG Fuels was invited to submit a Part II Application for a loan guarantee under the U.S. Department of Energy Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program. If successful, the proposed $2.15 billion loan guarantee from the DOE would accelerate the scaling up of the proposed sustainable aviation fuel project.

The first commercial scale project is in Louisiana and it’s a doozy. It’s expected to create approximately 633 new permanent union operating jobs and up to 2,100 construction jobs over three years. Expect it to be in St. James Parish on a 500+ acre site. If fully scaled up, the initial facility is projected to have a SAF production capacity of approximately 151 million gallons per year.

Check out “4.25 Barrels of SAF per Biomass Ton: The Digest’s 2021 Multi-Slide Guide to DG Fuels” here.


While all eyes have been on Ukraine lately, there is some good news that came in from another former USSR republic and neighbor to Ukraine’s north above Belarus and Latvia – Estonia. U.S. based Sweetwater Energy received final acceptance of its first commercial Sunburst unit at the Sweetwoods Project in Estonia, proving that Sunburst has met all criteria—including energy usage, throughput, and quality of product. You can get the Digest exclusive interview with Arunas Chesonis, Sweetwater’s CEO, details on the lead company in the Sweetwoods consortium, Estonia-based Fibenol, plans for the future, and more here.

Bottom Line

While it’s harder to find good news these days, there is optimism and some pretty darn exciting commercialization developments in the bioeconomy that we can’t ignore. And if you are considering applying for federal funding for a commercial scale bioeconomy project, check out Bill Hagy’s recent article that shares inside tips to guide you through the maze for commercial funding here. Either way, it’s exciting times in the bioeconomy with advancements in commercialization coming out frequently enough to give us hope for the future of planet and people.

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