Green Biologics, a UK-based renewable chemical company, raised $76M to help support their recent plant acquisition in Minnesota. Green Biologics received $42 million in equity, led by Swire Pacific and Sofinnova Partners, and $34 million in debt financing led by Tennenbaum Capital Partners. This $76 million financing follows Green Biologics previous equity round of $25 million in December 2013, bringing Green Biologics’ total fund raising to just over $100 million since late 2013.
According the company’s website, the company uses a fermentation platform to convert biomass to n-butanal and acetone. These chemicals can be used in a wide range of consumer and industrial applications including food, cosmetics, personal care, household and industrial cleaners, paints and inks.
In December 2014, Green Biologics announced the acquisition of the assets of the Central MN Ethanol Co-op, a 21 million gallon per year ethanol producer in Little Falls, Minnesota through its Central MN Renewables LLC affiliate. In addition to the acquisition, the proceeds of the round will be utilized by Green Biologics to repurpose the Minnesota plant to produce n-butanol and acetone, along with funding Green Biologics advanced technology process technology platform.
Green Biologics has transitioned from a development stage company to a commercial company. The company said that we can expect to see commercial-scale construction throughout this year. This is bolt-on technology, so right now the plant will be running in full ethanol production mode while the new technology is built and installed on site in Minnesota.
Sometime in Q1 next year the company expects to shut down the existing plant while the new technology is tied in to the existing plant, and that by the end of Q2 the plant should be in full production of n-butanol and acetone.
Green Biologics Americas president Joel Stone says, “ the key to derisking is the way you pace yourself. In the case of ethanol in the 2000s, there was a mandate and a regulatory environment that was pushing people to build plants very quickly. Here, this is the chemical industry where there is no regulation making you [go renewable]. So, you aim for a steady flow, you do one, you move on to the next, and then the next, and you keep in mid that it’s a 3-4.5 million ton market, far smaller than the fuels markets, and you have got to be selective.”
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