Primus dedicates ‘drop-in’ fuel plant in New Jersey

Many alt-rock fans think fondly of Primus, the name of the Bay Area funk-metal group led by legendary bassist Les Claypool. Now, perhaps, alt-fuel fans can get a similarly positive vibe.

Primus Green Energy is almost finished building a plant in New Jersey for its so-called “drop-in” gasoline made from a combination of natural gas and biomass, and dedicated the plant Friday.

The factory, which is located in Hillsborough, NJ – about 50 miles west of New York City – will cost about $12 million and will be for demonstration purposes. Primus’s first commercial plant will break ground next year.

Primus’ plant makes gasoline from a combination of natural gas and biomass produced from wood pellets. The company says it can make 93-octane gasoline from the products and estimates its cost at about $65 a barrel. That’s about 25 percent less than the current cost of crude oil.

Primus said last month that it raised $12 million in its third round of equity funding through Israel’s IC Green Energy Ltd., bringing the New Jersey-based company’s total funds raised to $40 million within the past five years. With that kind of money, you could probably sail the seas of cheese.

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Primus Green Energy Demonstration Plant Nearing Completion in Hillsborough, N.J.

Plant Will Produce Drop-In Gasoline from Natural Gas and Biomass

Hillsborough, N.J. (June 20, 2012) – Construction work on a demonstration plant for Primus Green Energy Inc. (www.primusge.com), a developer of drop-in gasoline produced from natural gas and biomass, is nearing completion at the Primus Green Energy headquarters complex in Hillsborough, N.J., representing a major milestone on the company’s path to commercialization.

The $12 million demonstration plant structure has been erected and three of the four reactors that will produce drop-in gasoline from natural gas have been installed, with completion scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2012. The demonstration plant will serve as a model for Primus Green Energy’s first commercial plant, on which it expects to break ground in 2013. A pilot plant already exists at the site.

Primus will celebrate the dedication of its new demonstration plant at a June 22 ceremony.
The new plant will demonstrate the flexibility of the Primus Green Energy technology in terms of both feedstock and end product. Although the plant will initially use natural gas as a feedstock, it will later be adapted to use biomass in the form of premium wood pellets. The end products will include high quality, 93-octane gasoline that is virtually identical to gasoline produced from petroleum and jet fuel.

“The construction of our new demonstration plant is a tremendous achievement that showcases our ability to scale our technology,” said Robert J. Johnsen, Primus’ chief executive officer. “We have gone from the concept to the demonstration stage in only five years and now, with the demo plant, we can further refine our technology with the goal of moving us toward commercialization next year.”

Primus Green Energy is a leader in the biofuel industry, whose goal is to produce affordable replacements for transportation fuels made from petroleum, thus enhancing energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil. The cost of Primus’ gasoline is about $65 a barrel, which, since crude oil is now trading for $83 a barrel and has recently traded for well over $100, makes it highly competitive with traditional gasoline.

Although many biofuel companies are producing transportation fuels, including ethanol, biodiesel and biocrude, Primus Green Energy is one of the few that is producing a drop-in replacement for gasoline. Unlike other biofuels, Primus Green Energy’s product can be used directly in engines as a component of standard fuel formulas without costly engine modifications or changes to the fuel delivery infrastructure.

The liquid fuel synthesis technology used at the demo plant, which is expected to produce 33 liters per hour of gasoline, will convert syngas (a combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide) into gasoline and jet fuel.

Primus’ proprietary syngas-to-gasoline (STG) technology is an improved variant of a commercially proven process used by Mobil to produce gasoline in the 1980s and 1990s. Primus’ improvements, however, produce higher yields and a better quality gasoline. Unlike the Mobil process, the Primus technology can also be used to produce jet fuel, diesel or bio-aromatic chemicals that are used as feedstocks in the plastics and chemical industries.

Plans call for incorporating Primus’ proprietary steam-driven, fluidized bed biomass gasification technology into the demo plant production line next year. The gasification technology converts biomass such as pellets made from wood waste or energy crops such as Miscanthus into a syngas that is then transformed into transportation fuels.

“Although we consider ourselves a biofuel company, we will be using natural gas as a bridge to biofuels,” Johnsen said. “Our initial use of natural gas, a domestic resource that has the virtue of being both abundant and cheap, will enable us to build a profitable plant that will validate our proprietary technology, which we can later adapt for use with biomass as a feedstock.”

The dedication ceremony will be attended by state and federal environmental leaders, including former N.J. Gov. James J. Florio, who authored major federal environmental legislation as a congressman in the 1970s and 1980s, and N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Assistant Commissioner (sustainability and green energy)Robert Marshall. The event will feature test drives of a car fueled by Primus gasoline and tours of the existing pilot plant.

For more information on Primus Green Energy, please visit http://www.primusge.com.

About Primus Green Energy Inc.
Headquartered in Hillsborough, N.J., Primus Green Energy has innovated a flexible renewable drop-in fuel technology that produces high-octane gasoline that can be used directly in engines as a component in standard fuel formulas without costly engine modifications or changes to the fuel delivery infrastructure. The Primus Green Energy technology is a proprietary version of proven commercial technologies to convert biomass and/or natural gas to a variety of liquid transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel or specialty chemicals such as xylene and toluene. Primus Green Energy’s technology has recorded the highest cellulose-to-gasoline conversion efficiency rate in the industry; is feedstock flexible through the use of natural gas as a supplement or replacement for biomass; and has low production and operational costs. Primus Green Energy is funded by IC Green Energy, the renewable energy arm of publicly traded Israel Corp. For more information, visit http://www.primusge.com.

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