BROOMFIELD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Range Fuels, Inc. announced today that it has signed a $76 million Technology Investment Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Range Fuels’ selection for negotiation of this grant was initially announced in February, 2007 and the organizations have agreed on contract terms to allow project funding. Range Fuels was one of six companies selected by the Department of Energy for financial support in building a commercial cellulosic ethanol plant, and will be the first to break ground with a celebratory event November 6, 2007 at the future site of its Soperton, Georgia Plant.
The DOE has obligated $50 million based upon Range Fuels’ project construction schedule for the first 20-million-gallon-per-year phase of its Soperton Plant – the nation’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. Range Fuels’ Soperton Plant will begin construction in November 2007 and will ultimately reach a production capacity of one hundred million gallons per year. The remainder of the grant, $26 million, will be provided for construction of the next phase of the project.
The contract negotiating process was rigorous and required Range Fuels to successfully complete a Federal Environmental Assessment which resulted in a finding of no significant impact, confirming achievement of the project’s environmentally sensitive design goals.
“The DOE has been an excellent partner and our teamwork has achieved a great public and private sector collaboration,” said Mitch Mandich, CEO, Range Fuels. “As we embark on the construction of the nation’s first commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plant, we look forward to accelerating our country’s use of renewable and sustainable fuels.”
"Together, the Department of Energy and private sector pioneers, such as Range Fuels, are blending science and technology to advance the President's goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil," U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said. "The production of cost-competitive cellulosic ethanol is a significant part of America's energy future. This new facility, one of six commercial scale biorefineries to be constructed with the Department of Energy's support, will expand the use of home-grown alternative fuels - protecting the environment and enhancing the nation's energy security."
Range Fuels’ Soperton Plant will use the abundant and renewable supply of Georgia wood biomass as its feedstock and will use Range Fuels’ proprietary thermo-chemical conversion technology to transform these natural materials into ethanol. Range Fuels has secured the needed State and Federal construction permits for the Plant. Construction of the first 20-million-gallon-per-year phase is expected to be complete in 2008.
Range Fuels’ approach is aimed at helping our planet restore its environmental balance. Range Fuels’ technology is self-sustaining and uses the same feedstock to make ethanol as it does to operate its plant, minimizing its reliance on fossil fuels and consequent production of greenhouse gases. The Soperton Plant has been permitted as a minor source of emissions. Its proximity to both wood supplies and ethanol markets will minimize energy expended in supplying the facility with feedstock and providing ethanol to consumer markets, further demonstrating the low-impact, environmentally-friendly nature of the company’s technology.
About Range Fuels, Inc.
Range Fuels, Inc., is focused on green energy and the production of cellulosic ethanol. The company does not use food products like corn, but rather uses waste materials and other non food sources and turns them into valuable products. The company's innovative technology can use wood chips, municipal waste, paper pulp, olive pits, and more and converts those materials to ethanol. The company's system, named K2, uses a two-step thermo-chemical conversion process. The first step converts the biomass to synthesis gas, and the second step converts the gas to ethanol. The company's business model is to design, build, own and operate its plants. The company is privately held and funded by Khosla Ventures, LLC, arguably the top venture firm in the U.S. focusing on alternative, green energy systems. The leadership team melds experience from Silicon Valley's fast-paced, high-tech world, and the technologically intense coal, coal gasification, and gas-to-liquids industries. Range Fuels' vision is to introduce the world to a fuel that is renewable, sustainable, and eco-friendly in its production.