Colorado-based SundropFuels Inc. will partner with technology and engineering supplier ThyssenKrupp Uhde for what is being described as the nation’s first commercial “green gasoline” production facility near Alexandria.
Sundrop is a drop-in advanced biofuels company.
The proposed $450 million refinery will be built on 1,200 acres and is expected to create 150 new jobs. The plant will combine forest waste with hydrogen from natural gas to produce up to 50 million gallons of fuel a year.
Sundrop said the partnership follows a comprehensive front-end engineering and licensing deal between Sundrop Fuels and Uhde Corp. of America, a unit of ThyssenKrupp USA Inc.
Sundrop said the plant will also serve as a proving ground for the company’s proprietary biomass conversion technologies. Sundrop hopes to apply the lessons learned at its first plant for future large-scale facilities. Those plants will be able to produce nearly 300 million gallons a year and Sundrop’s plans call for annual production capacity of more than 1 billion gallons by 2020.
Sundrop’s backers include Chesapeake Energy Corp., the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer, and venture capital firms Oak Investment Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers. Chesapeake has invested $155 million in Sundrop since mid-2011 and owns half the company.