Vega Biofuels' pilot torrefaction joint venture wins USDA grant

By Vega Biofuels Inc. | September 25, 2014

Vega Biofuels Inc. has announced that its Allendale, South Carolina, joint venture project with Agri-Tech Producers LLC has been awarded a Value-Added Producer Grant from the USDA in the amount of $200,000.

Vega recently announced it has entered into the joint venture to build and operate a manufacturing plant in Allendale to produce bio-coal. When completed, the manufacturing plant will use special torrefaction technology to produce the company's green-energy bio-coal product from timber waste and bio-crops that will then be sold to power companies around the world. An alternative to traditional coal, bio-coal has a high energy density of up to 13,000 Btu per pound and is considered a renewable energy fuel, which meets the renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and renewable energy credits (RECs) in the United States.

Joseph J. James, president of ATP and Vega advisory board member stated, "The $200,000 grant will help ATP-SC LLC, the joint venture entity, process the biomass of various trees and bio-crops that we will plant on sites convenient to our Allendale facility, including on some of the nearly 170 contaminated sites identified by EPA. Under our new site remediation, biomass and bio-coal production (SRBBP) process, we will be using the trees and bio-crops planted on contaminated sites, twice, effectively cutting the cost of their biomass in half, for both the remediation and the torrefaction processes."

Michael K. Molen, chairman and CEO of Vega Biofuels, stated, "We are very pleased that the USDA has awarded us this grant. It is a result of the hard work by our partners at ATP. We look forward to the completion of the Allendale plant so we can begin shipping our Bio-Coal product to our clients in Europe."