Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center biofuels plant seeks $47 million in bonds | nnbusinessview.com

Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center biofuels plant seeks $47 million in bonds

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Fulcrum BioEnergy announced May 16 the start of construction for Phase 2 of its first waste-to-fuels project, the Sierra BioFuels Plant, during a groundbreaking event at the plant’s site at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center east of Reno. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval stands with Fulcrum senior staff at the event.

STOREY COUNTY, Nev. — The state of Nevada Board of Finance will meet Aug. 14 to approve issuing $47 million in revenue bonds to help expand Fulcrum BioEnergy's Sierra BioFuels Plant in Storey County.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has already signed off on the bonding that will pay to expand and construct the plant that will convert municipal waste into jet fuel.

C.J. Manthe, director of the Department of Business and Industry, said the plant is under construction at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center using the $175 million in revenue bonds approved by the state last year.

She said the added bond money will be used to create efficiencies in the conversion plant and pay to build a water facility that will recycle up to 48 million gallons of water a year.

That plant will reduce Fulcrum's water consumption by 50 percent.

Manthe said the bonds are Conduit Bonds. That means all the repayment and liability is on Fulcrum, not the state.

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"They are on the hook to pay back the bonds and the state does not provide any kind of guarantee," she said.

Manthe said the state approval allows the company to get tax exempt bonds at a lower interest rate.

Overall, she said Fulcrum's biorefinery is a $410 million project. Bond financing will total $220 million. She said the rest of the money is coming from "big equity players" including British Petroleum and United Airlines.

She said the Department of Defense is also involved because the jet fuel the biorefinery will produce can be used in military aircraft as well as commercial airlines.

Fulcrum BioFuels has developed an innovative high-tech process to turn solid municipal waste into jet fuel. The company plans to finish the biorefinery in late 2019 and be in full production in 2020.