Business Briefs

By Staff | July 28, 2011

Recast Energy closes initial equity raise, acquires generation portfolio from former Intrinergy
Recast Energy LLC announced it has closed its initial round of equity private placement, conducted by Cary Street Partners. Recast Energy commenced operations in October, when it acquired the renewable energy generation operations, personnel, and related project development pipeline from IN Group Companies LLC, formerly known as Intrinergy LLC. Intrinergy was founded in 2004 to build, own and operate renewable energy plants serving industrial clients. From 2004 to 2010, the company evolved into two distinct lines of business—biomass energy generation and biomass fuel aggregation and processing. In March 2010, the company spun-off its fuel supply business (now called Enviva LP), and in October it spun-off its energy generation business to Recast Energy. Recast Energy configures its energy facilities using proven technologies fueled with clean, cellulosic biomass such as energy crops and forestry/agricultural residuals, with the ability to integrate conventional fossil fuels such as natural gas to optimize overall system efficiency and reliability. 

Hydro-Thermal receives export award
Hydro-Thermal Corp. received the Wisconsin Governor’s Export Award at the 47th Annual Wisconsin International Trade Conference held in May in Milwaukee. According to the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, this achievement is based on “criteria including the degree of export-related growth; innovative techniques and approaches that resulted in the company’s success; and demonstration of extra effort in capturing worldwide markets.” Accepting the award from Gov. Scott Walker was Gary Bymers, Hydro-Thermal’s international director. Earlier this year, Hydro-Thermal was also recognized as one of the top Wisconsin manufacturers by the Wisconsin Manufacturers’ & Commerce, the accounting firm Baker & Tilly, and the law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, as the grand award winner of the Manufacturer of the Year 2010 in the small business category.

Ze-gen names Robertson CEO and Prendergast CFO
Ze-gen announced the promotion of David Robertson to chief operating officer and Mark Prendergast to chief financial officer, replacing Neal Isaacson, who has served in this role since August 2009. Robertson joined Ze-gen in April 2010 as the vice president of technology, overseeing the company’s technology department and commercialization efforts. In his new role, he will lead the operations and technology development at Ze-gen as the company seeks to commercialize its technology. Prendergast has served as vice president, controller, managing Ze-gen’s corporate accounting activities. Prendergast will now oversee Ze-gen’s accounting activities as well as lead the company’s strategic financial planning.

Martin Engineering India acquires Clean Cat Conveyors
Martin Engineering has taken another step in its expansion into India with the acquisition of an Indian manufacturer of conveyor components and systems, Clean Cat Conveyors Pvt. Ltd., of Goa. The acquisition of Clean Cat Conveyors follows closely on the heels of Martin Engineering’s announcement in February of the opening of a business unit, Martin Engineering Co. India Pvt. Ltd., in Pune, India. Martin Engineering India’s managing director Jibananda “JS” Samal, formerly of Larsen & Toubro Ltd., will lead combined operations. The acquisition was finalized April 5; purchase price was not disclosed. Clean Cat Conveyors is a manufacturer and supplier of steel conveyor idlers, belt cleaners, vulcanizing machines, sealing and skirtboard systems and other conveyor accessories. The Clean Cat Conveyors facility in Goa will operate as a branch of the Martin Engineering India operation, and continue to offer products through its existing sales channels.

BDI-BioEnergy makes management board changes
The supervisory board of BDI-BioEnergy International AG has appointed Markus Dielacher and Edgar Ahn as new members of the management board. Both have been with the company for many years and have in-depth sales and technical experience. Dagmar Heiden-Gasteiner will remain in charge of the commercial operations of BDI-BioEnergy International AG as chief financial officer. Dielacher, who has been chief operating officer of BDI-BioEnergy International AG since 2008, and his team will be responsible for the engineering and project management operations. Ahn and his team will be responsible for the sales and marketing and research and development operations. The founders of BDI-BioEnergy International, Wilhelm Hammer, CEO, and Helmut Gössler, chief technology officer, will be leaving the management board for personal reasons and will continue to be associated with the company as shareholders and consultants.

DP Cleantech makes advances in straw-fired technology
DP CleanTech has recently sold three more straw-fired power plants in China, increasing its market dominance in the region. DP CleanTech’s success in China has driven further improvements to its core product and the company has plans to release a new straw boiler to meet the increasing demand. To date, DP CleanTech has completed 27 biomass power plants in China and has another 24 under development. The latest three boilers were sold to China Everbright International. The projects will be delivered in Linyi, Laiyang and Shuyang in Eastern China. The boilers have been designed specifically to convert Chinese soft straw into high-temperature, high-pressure steam. Each biomass power plant will deliver 30 megawatts of electricity to the China state grid.

Ziemba joins Michael Best
Leah Hurtgen Ziemba has joined Michael Best & Friedrich LLP as an associate in its Madison, Wis., office. Ziemba will join the firm’s Energy and Sustainability Industry Team, focusing her practice on the siting and permitting of new development, including agricultural and energy projects, and counseling clients on environmental matters. Ziemba has experience in environmental/natural resource law involving air, water, solid and hazardous waste. She has counseled project developers and utilities regarding permitting and environmental concerns related to nuclear power plants and energy, wind and biogas developments. Ziemba has assisted clients regarding greenhouse gas emission regulation, carbon credits and renewable portfolio standards, and regularly handles environmental matters arising under federal and state law.

TransGlobal Assets to expand biomass system
TransGlobal Assets Inc.’s joint venture partner, Helios Inc. of India, has made engineering advancements to its biomass unit design, allowing the system to use virtually all forms of waste generated by humans and animals, and convert it into saleable electricity and byproducts. The advancements position TransGlobal Assets to supply a completely portable and modular all-waste management solution for commercial-scale use. By engineering the system to process a wider variety of waste inputs, the company can expand its business beyond landfill clean-up and management to a broader range of commercial industries that also generate and manage high volumes of waste, including medical waste, commercial poultry, swine and livestock production, human sewage, wood, plastic, glass, metal and rubber refuse (including tires), yard and garden debris and more.

Nothmann appointed to biomass advisory committee
David Nothmann, ArborGen Inc.’s vice president of business and product development, has been named by the U.S. secretaries of energy and agriculture to serve on the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. Jointly administered by U.S. DOE and USDA, the committee includes volunteers from industry, academia, nonprofit and local government entities. Nothmann’s appointment is until Nov. 30, 2013. As a committee member, he will advise the Biomass Research and Development Board, which coordinates research and development activities related to biofuels. The committee offers expertise on strategic planning and the technical aspects of the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, which is directed to address feedstock development, biofuels and biobased products development and biofuels development analysis. The committee will aid the DOE and USDA in building a sustainable biomass energy industry.

SDSU VP appointed to national biomass team
South Dakota State University Vice President for Research Kevin Kephart has been appointed to the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee because of his expertise in biobased fuels and products. The U.S. secretaries of energy and agriculture jointly appointed Kephart to the committee. Kephart will serve through November 2013. The biomass committee’s role is to offer advice and council to the two federal agencies to help meet important goals in federal legislation intended to improve national energy security. Biobased products are industrial products such as chemicals, materials and polymers produced from biomass. The definition in the federal legislation also includes commercial or industrial products, including animal feed and electric power.