Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Press Release - $22.6M Grant $22.6 million to Produce Biofuel

OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER, JR.
WWW.COLORADO.GOV/GOVERNOR 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JANUARY 25, 2009

Rentech and ClearFuels Integrated Bio-Refinery Project Awarded $23 Million Grant by U.S. Department of Energy

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 25, 2010) – Rentech, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: RTK) and ClearFuels Technology Inc. (ClearFuels) jointly announced today that their project to construct a biomass gasifier at Rentech’s Energy Technology Center (“RETC”) in Denver has been awarded a conditional $22.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”). The gasifier will be integrated with Rentech’s Product Demonstration Unit (“PDU”) for the production of renewable synthetic fuels from biomass.

The conditional award follows the DOE’s selection of the project in December 2009 to receive funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to validate refining technologies and help lay the foundation for full commercial-scale development of an advanced bio-fuels industry in the United States. The award is conditional upon final approval of the application and any supplemental information as well as completion of negotiations.

The grant award will be used to manufacture and install at RETC a 20 ton-per-day ClearFuels biomass gasifier designed to produce synthesis gas from various wood waste and sugar cane bagasse feedstocks. The gasifier will be integrated with Rentech’s existing PDU at the site, which uses the Rentech Process and UOP’s upgrading technologies to produce renewable drop-in synthetic jet and diesel fuels at demonstration scale. This joint demonstration of an integrated bio-refinery is anticipated to be completed in late 2011 and will lead to the final design basis for commercial facilities that are expected to use the combined technologies. The proposed team for the demonstration project includes ClearFuels, Rentech, URS, Linde/Hydro-Chem, Hawaiian Electric Company, National Renewable Energy Lab and Hawaii Natural Energy Institute.

Rentech has a 25% strategic ownership interest in ClearFuels, which has begun development of multiple commercial-scale biomass-to-energy projects in the southeastern United States, Hawaii and internationally. These projects are expected to use an integrated ClearFuels-Rentech design and be co-located at biomass processing facilities.

Commenting on the award, D. Hunt Ramsbottom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rentech, said, “We are pleased that the DOE has acted quickly in granting this award. The award recognizes the potential value of integrating Rentech’s and ClearFuel’s technologies for the production of renewable synthetic fuels.” Mr. Ramsbottom continued, “We believe that the deployment of our joint technologies at commercial-scale renewable energy projects will play an important role in helping our country meet its goals for sources of low-carbon renewable fuels and green jobs.”

Eric Darmstaedter, Chief Executive Officer of ClearFuels, commented, “We are very pleased with our collaborative discussions with the DOE. We expect to complete submission of required supplemental information and start receiving funds in the next few months to facilitate the demonstration of our integrated technologies."



About Rentech, Inc.

Rentech, Inc. (www.rentechinc.com), incorporated in 1981, provides clean energy solutions. The Company's Rentech-SilvaGas biomass gasification process can convert multiple biomass feedstocks into synthesis gas (syngas) for production of renewable fuels and power. Combining the gasification process with Rentech's unique application of syngas conditioning and clean-up technology and the patented Rentech Process based on Fischer-Tropsch chemistry, Rentech offers an integrated solution for production of synthetic fuels from biomass. The Rentech Process can also convert syngas from fossil resources into ultra-clean synthetic jet and diesel fuels, specialty waxes and chemicals. Final product upgrading is provided under an alliance with UOP, a Honeywell company. Rentech develops projects and licenses these technologies for application in synthetic fuels and power facilities worldwide. Rentech Energy Midwest Corporation, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, manufactures and sells nitrogen fertilizer products including ammonia, urea ammonia nitrate, urea granule, and urea solution in the corn-belt region of the central United States.

 
About ClearFuels Technology Inc.

ClearFuels (www.clearfuels.com) and its partners are developing advanced sustainable biorefineries that convert multiple mixed cellulosic biomass feedstocks into sustainable, high-value energy products including renewable Fischer-Tropsch (FT) diesel and jet fuel, ethanol, hydrogen and power at industry-leading yields. The ClearFuels proprietary thermochemical conversion process is based on its advanced High Efficiency Hydrothermal Reformation (HEHTR) technology for biomass-to-syngas conversion (BTG). This modular flexible BTG technology platform, in combination with various synthetic gas-to-liquid (GTL) technologies and co-locating its biorefineries at sugar mills, and at wood processing and other biomass processing facilities, provides a reduced risk, lower overall cost commercial strategy in line with ClearFuels vision for production of clean clear biofuels.


Safe Harbor

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about matters such as the ClearFuels biomass gasification technology, the ability to integrate the gasification technology with Rentech technologies and the timing of the completion of the demonstration, the characteristics of the renewable fuels to be produced from the technologies, and ClearFuels’ proposed development projects using integrated technologies. These statements are based on management's current expectations and actual results may differ materially as a result of various risks and uncertainties. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements include the ability of the parties to create and successfully market a combined technology offering, the financial means of Rentech and ClearFuels to build their proposed projects, fluctuations in commodities prices including the price of oil and the materials necessary to construct a project, the impact of changing government regulations on the project permitting process and the qualification of renewable fuels and factors set forth in the Company's press releases and periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available via Rentech's web site at www.rentechinc.com. The forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date of this release, and Rentech does not undertake to revise or update these forward-looking statements, except to the extent that it is required to do so under applicable law.

 

For More Information:

Please contact: Julie Dawoodjee, Vice President of Investor Relations and Communications, Rentech, Inc. at 310.571.9800, extension 341, or by email at ir@rentk.com.