Green Biologics Raises $76 Million to Make Renewable Chemicals

(Bloomberg) — Green Biologics Ltd., a U.K.-based company
that makes chemicals from agricultural waste and sugar cane,
raised $76 million to expand production, including converting a
Minnesota ethanol plant to make butanol and acetone.

Green Biologics is receiving $42 million in equity, led by
Swire Pacific Ltd. and Sofinnova Partners, and $34 million in
debt financing led by Tennenbaum Capital Partners, the
Oxfordshire-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Green
Biologics had raised about $25 million in equity in December
2013.

The latest funding will help support the acquisition of a
21-million-gallon-a-year ethanol plant in Minnesota that’s being
renovated to produce butanol and acetone, beginning as soon as
next year, Chief Executive Officer Sean Sutcliffe said in a
phone interview Tuesday. The company already has produced
chemicals at smaller plants.

“This is the third stage in the process, to commercialize
the technology, having proven it at pilot scale, having proven
it at demo scale,” Sutcliffe said. “By repurposing the
existing ethanol plant, we’re able to be more capital
efficient.”

The company has a pilot production facility in Ohio and a
demonstration facility in Iowa. Butanol is used in paints and
perfumes while acetone is an ingredient in rubbing alcohol.

Green Biologics uses feedstocks including corn waste and
sugar cane to produce chemicals that can be used in consumer
products and biofuels. The company produced about 300 tons of
butanol last year in China with a partner, Sutcliffe said.

“We’ve had good feedback from customers in paints,
coatings, perfumes and other applications where they’ve bought
our renewable butanol made in China,” he said. “The core
market for us is renewable chemicals. Fuels are in the long
term, and one of our investors — Swire Pacific — is interested
in the potential for renewable jet fuel.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Justin Doom in New York at
jdoom1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Robin Saponar, Tina Davis

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