LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- ZeaChem Inc., developer of highly-efficient
biorefineries, announced that it has completed construction of its 250,000 gallons per year
(GPY) cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Boardman, Oregon. The project was completed on
budget and is expected to begin production of cellulosic ethanol by the end of 2012.
ZeaChem's core process, completed earlier this year, enables the production of acetic acid and
ethyl acetate which are intermediate chemicals for applications including paints, lacquers and
consumer goods representing a $10 billion market worldwide. The core process has been
commissioned and fermentation of sugar feedstocks has been replicated in 40,000 gallon tanks.
These results met and exceeded the company's design targets.
The next step in ZeaChem's phased development and start-up approach is to begin operations of
the integrated facility for cellulosic ethanol production. With the support of a $25 million
investment from the U.S. Department of Energy's Integrated Biorefinery program, ZeaChem has
added process components to the core facility enabling the utilization of locally-sourced
biomass, including wood and wheat straw, to be fermented and converted into intermediate
chemicals and ethanol.
"With construction completed, ZeaChem looks forward to starting integrated operations and the
production of cellulosic ethanol this year," said Jim Imbler, President and Chief Executive Officer
of ZeaChem. "We are executing a phased start-up approach to limit risk, stabilize and optimize
operations, and ensure safety. ZeaChem is focused on successfully demonstrating integrated
operations and commercializing its highly efficient, economical and sustainable biorefining
ZeaChem also announced it has closed its Series C financing totaling $25 million in new equity
to advance its business strategy and commercial deployment. New investors include Tokyo,
Japan-based ITOCHU Corporation, a multi-national trading company, and Macquarie, a global
investment banking and financial services group based in Sydney, Australia. Additional Series C
investors include: Birchmere Ventures, Firelake Capital, Globespan Capital Partners, Mohr
Davidow Ventures, PrairieGold Venture Partners, and Spring Ventures. ZeaChem will utilize
Series C funds to support operations at the integrated biorefinery and develop its first
"We are pleased to expand our investor support to new partners in Asia and Australia, which
demonstrates ZeaChem's global potential for biofuels and bio-based chemicals," added Imbler.
"ITOCHU and Macquarie have established track records in co-developing energy projects
worldwide and the ZeaChem platform is uniquely qualified for this due to our feedstock
flexibility and diverse product portfolios. These new international partners provide us with a
foundation to expand the company's operations globally."
About ZeaChem Inc.
ZeaChem Inc. has developed a cellulose-based biorefinery platform capable of producing
advanced fuels and intermediate chemicals. ZeaChem's indirect approach leapfrogs the yield and
carbon dioxide (CO2) problems associated with traditional and cellulosic based biorefinery
processes. In addition, ZeaChem has a significant capital cost advantage compared to other
cellulosic technologies. By efficiently extracting the most energy possible from biomass
feedstocks, ZeaChem significantly increases output while reducing both production costs and
environmental impacts. Incorporated in 2002, ZeaChem is headquartered in Lakewood, Colo.,
USA and operates a research and development laboratory facility in Menlo Park, Calif., and a
demonstration biorefinery in Boardman, Ore.
Source: ZeaChem Inc.