Brightmark Energy closes US$260 million in financing for the USA’s first commercial-scale plastics-to-fuel plant

Brightmark Energy closes US$260 million in financing for the USA’s first commercial-scale plastics-to-fuel plant

April 16, 2019
Marcia González

Brightmark Energy, a San Francisco-based waste and energy development company, has announced the closing of a US$260 million financing package for the construction of what the company claims is the USA’s first commercial-scale plastics-to-fuel plant, which will be located in Ashley, Indiana. The financing for ‘Brightmark Energy Ashley Indiana’ includes US$185 million in Indiana green bonds, which were underwritten by Goldman Sachs & Co. As part of the financing closure, Brightmark has become the controlling owner of RES Polyflow, the Ohio-based energy technology company that innovated the process for converting plastics directly into transportation fuel and other products.

The facility will initially convert approximately 100,000 tons of plastics a year into over 18 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel and naphtha blend stocks and nearly six million gallons a year of commercial-grade wax in a process that is expected to be 93% efficient. Ultimately, the outputs of this technology could also be used to produce the feed-stocks necessary for manufacturing plastic again, in doing so creating a truly circular economy technology for plastics.

“We are excited about the market’s confidence in the validity of this technology to economically convert single-use plastics for new uses,” said Bob Powell, CEO of Brightmark Energy and of RES Polyflow. “This technology provides a strong incentive for diverting single-use plastics away from oceans, waterways, communities and landfills by creating reusable value. Plastic pollution is such a pressing global issue, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to provide a solution.”

RES Polyflow’s plastics-to-fuel process sustainably recycles waste that has reached the end of its useful life – including items that cannot readily be recycled, such as plastic film, flexible packing, styrofoam and children’s toys – directly into useful products, like fuels and wax.

According to analysis released last week by Closed Loop Partners, there is an existing US$120 billion addressable market in the US and Canada for plastics and petrochemicals that could be met, in part, by recovering waste plastics like those used as feed-stock in the Ashley facility. The resources recovered from waste plastics could displace fossil fuels being used in these markets today.

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