Writing the Story on Biobased Finance Trends

By Luke Geiver | October 05, 2012

The story of Myriant Technologies involves biobased chemicals and first-times. The company is the first-ever biobased chemical producer to land a USDA Business and Industry Rural Development Loan Guarantee. I spoke with members of the company yesterday to learn more about their story and how they are working to transform a rural community in Louisiana, and how they were able to access the necessary funding to do so. 

In the November issue, I’ll discuss what companies like Myriant have done to finance their commercial aspirations and which companies have helped them along the way. One thing I can say right now is that the role of bond-based financing has made biobased project development possible at a time when the people we talk with almost completely denounce a biobased project finance success using traditional debt financing.

But, while I put the story together in a way that conveys the current trends for project finance, I’m also reminded that the more traditional methods will always have a place in the industry. LanzaTech just announced that it has secured $15 million in debt financing from Western Technology Investment, a Silicon Valley private investment firm. Their announcement tells me that while the bond-based debt financing models used today are effective (and incredibly complex) there will always be investors willing to give companies like LanzaTech an easy (or maybe less complicated where paperwork is involved) route to commercialization.