Pasadena, Texas based KiOR, which has developed technology to convert sustainable non-food biomass, such as agricultural and wood wastes, into a hydrocarbon-based biofuel secured an additional $100 million finance.
The company said that the funds, which include a $15 million dollar investment new investor Gates Ventures, an affiliate of Bill Gates from Bill Gates, will support the expansion of production capacity at its facility in Columbus, Mississippi – known as the Columbus II Project.
According to KiOR, once completed with the planned technology enhancements for both Columbus facilities, the Columbus II Project is expected to achieve overall positive cash flow from operations.
In the first private placement, KiOR (NASDAQ: KiOR) has received $85 million of committed equity related financing from Khosla Ventures III, and various other Khosla entities.
In the second private placement, KiOR has received $15 million of committed equity financing from Gates Ventures.
"This equity financing completes what we currently believe will be the last equity portion of the Columbus II Project, which we believe, will facilitate the ability, with the remainder of our currently anticipated project financing requirements, to achieve positive cash flow from operations sometime in 2015," explained Fred Cannon, KiOR's chief executive officer.
According to Cannon, the company also expects that expanding capacity at Columbus will derisk project execution and allow it to showcase its R&D advances at scale much quicker and will enable it to quickly order long lead time equipment for the project.
The CEO added that the combination of continuous improvement and R&D advancements that the company has seen at its research scale facilities in Pasadena, may allow its existing Columbus facility to increase its targeted nameplate processing capacity to over 600 bone dry tons of feedstock per day before the end of 2014.
The company is also confident of making good progress towards its long-term target yield of 92 gallons per bone dry ton of biomass and still plans to continue to develop its standard scale commercial facility in Natchez.
Backing a winner?
Venture capitalist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla explained independent reports on the assessment of the technology were reviewed and significant due diligence was conducted prior to committing to the investment.
“I believe that KiOR's technology for production of cellulosic biofuels can not only serve as the foundation for a successful and sustainably profitable long-term business but can also scale because of the hundreds of saw, pulp and paper mills that have been shut down and have local feedstock available,” he said.
“I expect, as the technology matures over the construction and operation of multiple facilities, it will achieve cost parity with many traditional oil sources such as new deep offshore projects and oil sands, without subsidies
Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, UBS Securities LLC and Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as joint book-running managers for the offering, with Piper Jaffray & Co., Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acting as co-managers http://www.google.com/finance?q=KIOR