Biorefinery, Earnings

Gevo updates bio-isobutanol production plans

Earnings season is in full force for the next week or so, and unfortunately (or maybe fortunately??) I will be on vacation with no internet connection starting this Sunday.

By the way, it was a pleasure talking with OPX Biotechnology CEO Charles Eggert again as he gave the blog updates on the company’s activities and plans yesterday. I will post a short article on the interview later on. Meanwhile, let’s talk about Gevo.

The company reported yesterday during its 2Q earnings call that it is planning to bring its whole bio-isobutanol plant in Luverne, Minnesota, up and running this year as it resumed commercial production from its first fermenter in June (after shutting it down in late 2012 due to microbial contamination), and then started its second one million liter fermenter in July. Start-up of the final fermenters are being planned on the second half of 2013, while ramp-up of sales and production is expected through 2013 and 2014.

During one of the Q&A with analysts, Gevo noted that isobutanol production from these two test runs were around 10,000-20,000 gallons. Variables impacting the economics of the plant include feedstock costs, yield, rate of production.

The company has not given any guidance on target sales price of its isobutanol for the next several quarters but Gevo indicated that it will benefit from lower corn price trend. Gevo said it expects to be EBITDA positive at the plant level by the second half of 2014.

Gevo also reported that it has installed an equipment for its paraxylene demo production at Silsbee, Texas. The equipment investment is paid by development partner Toray.

Gevo said its cash and cash equivalents on hand is $40.6m as of June 30, 2013. The company is also planning to back down some of its legal expenses as it relates to litigation. The focus of the company these days is to sell and market its products from the Luverne plant.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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