Ocean Park Advisors to market Abengoa’s cellulosic ethanol plant

By Erin Voegele | July 18, 2016

On July 18, Ocean Park Advisors announced it has been retained by Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas LLC to market its cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas, under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

According to information released by OPA, it will manage the process to either find a strategic partner or complete the sale of the cellulosic plant, the electricity cogeneration plant and related assets in Hugoton. In addition, there is an opportunity for interested parties to acquire the cellulosic technology and other intellectual property assets that are owned by Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies LLC, a debtor in a separate bankruptcy case pending in Delaware, in connection with or separately from the sale of the cellulosic plant.

OPA said it is currently inviting interested parties to evaluate the opportunity. Proposals are to be submitted by mid-August, with target closing by the end of October.

Court documents show Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas was subject to an involuntary Chapter 7 petition filed by several creditors on March 23 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Kansas. On April 6, Abengoa Bioenergy of Kansas filed a motion with the court asking for the case to be converted to Chapter 11.  

Abengoa celebrated the grand opening of the Hugoton plant in October 2014. In December 2015, the company reportedly laid off staff at the facility, citing financial difficulties as the reason for its action.

Another Abengoa affiliate, Abengoa Bioenergy U.S. Holding LLC, is in the process of selling four U.S.-based first-generation ethanol plants. On June 13, agreements were announced to sell the plants through a competitive process in a Chapter 11 case pending before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Missouri.

At that time, Abengoa Bioenergy U.S. Holding said it was seeking approval for minimum stalking horse bid agreements to initiate a sales process for its two maple plants, located in Indiana and Illinois, to an affiliate of Green Plains Inc. for $200 million, its plant in Ravenna, Nebraska, to an affiliate of KAAPA Inc. for $115 million, and its plant in York, Nebraska, to an affiliate of BioUrja Inc. for $35 million. The sales were expected to be close within three months.

Spain-based Abengoa S/A, the parent company of Abengoa Bioenergy and numerous other affiliated companies, announced it was filing for preliminary creditor protection in late 2015. On Jan. 25, the company announced plans to sell its non-core assets, including its first-generation biofuels plants, as part of a new restructuring plan to avoid bankruptcy. In late February, Abengoa Bioenergy U.S. Holdings LLC and five of its U.S. bioenergy subsidiaries filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That filing did not include the company’s corn ethanol plants in Mount Vernon, Indiana, and Madison, Illinois, the cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas, or certain other subsidiaries of Abengoa Bioenergy.