Partnership focuses on renewable fuel sources in Missouri

By Ameren Missouri, Enginuity Worldwide, ECAP LLC | August 28, 2015

Ameren Missouri, Enginuity Worldwide and ECAP LLC announced a partnership that will focus on development of renewable fuel sources that may provide a new revenue opportunity for rural businesses and help diversify power generation fuel sources in Missouri.

The partnership is a result of months of conversation and due diligence focusing on supply, handling, logistics, compatibility and performance. Ameren Missouri is committed to a cleaner and more diverse mix of energy resources to serve its customers. As part of this effort, Ameren Missouri is looking at an initial goal of adding solid engineered biomass fuel into its fuel mix if continuing assessments remain favorable. If these efforts are successful, Ameren Missouri may increase the amount of biomass used to generate electricity in the future.

ECAP LLC, with technology licenses from Enginuity, could build multiple fuel production facilities to manufacture Enginuity's solid engineered biomass fuel for Ameren to use in their system. The initial fuel projections would require a multi-year investment by ECAP LLC and its partners, up to a $50 million capital investment. These future facilities are projected to create approximately 180 jobs and would foster a $40 million annual impact in the rural economy.

Ameren Missouri is transitioning its power portfolio to a cleaner and more diverse mix of energy resources, including the use of more local, homegrown biomass for the benefit of Missouri consumers and Ameren Missouri customers.

Ameren Missouri is supportive of generating power from annually renewable agricultural biomass, especially homegrown biomass that provides economic benefits to Missouri farmers, rural Missourians and Ameren Missouri customers.

Warren Wood, vice president of external affairs and communication for Ameren Missouri said, "This is an exciting day. We have researched several technologies and believe this technology could be a means to take advantage of Missouri's enormous, but largely untapped, agricultural biomass as an energy resource. We have conducted tests and the biomass fuel produced with Enginuity's technology has the potential to meet our requirements. Ameren Missouri is proud to work with both Enginuity and ECAP LLC as we pioneer utilizing agriculture biomass to the great benefit of our environment and our economy in Missouri."

Biomass, cofired with coal, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and has the potential to decrease Missouri's reliance on out-of-state fuel sources for power generation.

ECAP LLC is a next generation, Missouri-based agri-business. With its 500-plus Missouri farmers, it has the foundation to provide vast amounts of annually renewable biomass supply for energy production.

David Vogt, chairman of ECAP LLC said, "The Board of Directors and the over 500 farmers who we represent are thrilled to partner with Ameren Missouri and Enginuity to be a part of evaluating something that has never been done on this scale with agricultural biomass feedstock. We are excited about what this new commodity stream could mean for Missouri farmers and their families. It is also exciting that Missouri farmers continue to contribute to diversifying our country's energy portfolio in a way that enhances both the environment and the rural economy."

Enginuity Worldwide, a Missouri-based technology company, has developed a patented process that makes fuel that is transportable, energy-dense and that unlocks baseload renewable electricity generation. Enginuity takes excess agriculture residue to produce lower-emission, renewable energy at a value-based price point.

Nancy Heimann, CEO For Enginuity Worldwide said, "We are very pleased to work with these partners and look forward to providing our expertise and bridge technology that alters raw biomass at the cellular level and transforms it into Enginuity's solid engineered biomass fuel that produces baseload renewable biopower when cofired with coal, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Our technology makes "field to fuel" a technological and economic reality that can bring benefit to both the energy generation and agricultural industries."