Fulcrum announces financing for second plant, receives investment

By Erin Voegele | December 20, 2021

Fulcrum Bioenergy Inc. on Dec. 20 announced it has completed interim financing to fund the company’s second waste-to-fuels plant, a 33 MMgy facility planned for development in Gary, Indiana. The announcement came less than a week after SK Inc. announced an investment in Fulcrum.

According to Fulcrum, the completion of the interim financing for the Gary facility, referred to as the Centerpoint BioFuels Plant, is in the form of $375 million in environmental improvement revenue bonds being issued by the Indiana Finance Authority through the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Fulcrum Centerpoint LLC. Fulcrum said the proceeds from the offering will be held in escrow with the bonds subject to a mandatory tender for purchase on Nov. 15, 2022. The company expects to refinance the bonds on or before Nov. 15, 2022.

"We are pleased to take this next step in accelerating our growth trajectory with this financing," said Eric Pryor, president and CEO of Fulcrum. "Fulcrum was awarded $500 million in volume cap by the Indiana Finance Authority to help fund a portion of the Centerpoint BioFuels Plant, the company's second waste to zero-carbon fuels project. This interim financing provides the company with ample time in 2022 to finalize engineering and obtain the necessary permits and authorizations to launch our next zero-carbon project."

Waste feestock for the proposed Centerpoint BioFuels Plant will be sourced from the greater Chicago and northern Indiana areas. Fulcrum said it has secured the biorefinery site, completed initial engineering and has submitted the air permit for the project. Construction on the 33 MMgy facility is currently expected to begin in 2023.

Several days before Fulcrum’s announcement, SK Inc., the strategic investment arm of South Korea-based SK Group, announced it is part of a $50 million investment in Fulcrum. SK was joined in the investment with a Korean private equity fund.

"Fulcrum's novel process of biofuel production can make a meaningful contribution to tackling environmental challenges by significantly reducing GHG emissions and addressing landfill capacity shortages," said Moohwan Kim, executive vice president of SK Inc. "Leveraging Fulcrum's innovative process, SK Inc. will explore further opportunities with one of its affiliates, SK Ecoplant, which has transformed into an environmental and energy solution provider, to identify opportunities in the domestic market and at the same time expand its presence in the global waste-to-fuel and bioenergy markets."

Fulcrum completed construction of its first waste-to-biofuels facility in July 2021. That facility, the 11 MMgy Sierra Biofuels Plant, is located near Reno, Nevada, and is expected to begin producing syncrude in 2022.