Sapphire Energy marks new milestone

By Staff | October 08, 2012

Algae oil producer Sapphire Energy Inc. has completed the first phase of its commercial demonstration algae-to-energy facility, the Green Crude Farm. Construction of the first phase began in June 2011 and was completed on time and on budget.

The phase one cultivation area consists of groupings of 1.1 acre and 2.2 acre ponds, which are one-eighth of a mile long. The initial phase also included the installation of all the necessary mechanical and processing equipment needed to harvest and extract algae and recycle water for entire site. Once complete, the Green Crude Farm will produce 1.5 million gallons of algae oil per year, and consist of approximately 300 acres of algae cultivation ponds and processing facilities.

The facility was funded with both private and public funds, including $85 million in private investment from Sapphire. The project was also backed by a USDA loan guarantee and a $50 million U.S. DOE grant.