Rentech Reports Milestone At Colo. Synfuels Plant
October 30, 2008
Rentech, Inc. on Thursday announced the successful completion of the first full production run at the Company's Product Demonstration Unit (PDU) in Commerce City, Colo.
Thousands of gallons of ultra-clean synthetic fuels and specialty chemicals were produced during the nearly 800-hour continuous production run at the facility. A variety of synthetic fuels were produced, including military jet fuel, commercial Jet A and Jet A-1 and ultra-low sulfur diesel, all of which met or exceeded applicable specifications. The Company has shipped these fuels as well as specialty chemicals for testing to potential customers, including the U.S. Air Force.
The commissioning phase of the PDU is now complete and the facility has demonstrated steady-state production at full design capacity. During the next few months, the Company will analyze the operating and engineering data generated from this production run. The Company will be conducting a thorough analysis of the substantial amount of data gathered during this run. Modifications to the facility's design and operational parameters to further improve the productivity of the facility may be made based on these results in preparation for the next production run. The Company continues its negotiations with potential licensees, customers and partners.
Rentech's PDU is the only operating synthetic transportation fuels facility in the United States. The facility is designed to produce approximately 420 gallons per day of synthetic jet and diesel fuels and specialty chemicals and demonstrates the successful design, construction and operation of a fully-integrated synthetic fuels facility utilizing the Rentech Process.
Harold Wright, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Rentech, stated, "The results of our first full production run at the PDU have exceeded our expectations. In particular, catalyst productivity and product yields have exceeded our operating targets. We will be analyzing the data we gathered from this run to upgrade and improve the facility's operating efficiency while continuing to provide products to potential customer groups for testing."
Rentech is sponsoring several tests of synthetic fuels in various engine types. The University of West Virginia conducted emissions testing of synthetic fuels with a 4,000 horsepower Norfolk Southern locomotive engine, a 1,000 horsepower Caterpillar engine provided by Walker Equipment and a 96 horsepower underground engine provided by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Initial results of these tests have confirmed that synthetic fuels are cleaner burning than traditional ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels, with lower particulate matter and no visible emissions from the use of these synthetic fuels in the engines. Ongoing testing of synthetic fuels in a fleet of on-road vehicles is continuing for further data collection on fuel efficiency and emissions.
Additionally, Rentech confirmed its previously issued EBITDA guidance for its wholly-owned nitrogen fertilizer facility, Rentech Energy Midwest Corp. (REMC). The Company continues to project fiscal year 2008 EBITDA of $50 million or greater and is highly confident that fiscal year 2009 EBITDA at REMC will be well in excess of $50 million.
D. Hunt Ramsbottom, President and CEO of Rentech, stated, "Our success in producing high-quality synthetic fuels and chemicals in volumes that potential customers can test is a giant leap forward in our progress toward demonstrating the commercial application of the Rentech Process. During these difficult macro-economic times, we are fortunate that our fertilizer operation continues to perform well and generates cash that can support our commercialization efforts."
Rentech, Inc., incorporated in 1981, provides clean energy solutions. The Rentech Process is a patented and proprietary technology that converts synthesis gas from waste, biomass and fossil resources into hydrocarbons that can be processed and upgraded into ultra-clean synthetic fuels, specialty waxes and chemicals. These energy resources include natural gas, biomass, municipal solid waste, petroleum coke and coal. Rentech Energy Midwest Corp. manufactures and sells fertilizer products including ammonia, urea ammonia nitrate, urea granule and urea solution to the corn-belt region.
Source: Rentech, Inc.
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