Brightmark Energy Receives $260M Financing for Plastics-to-Fuel Plant in Indiana

Continuous throughput of 288 tons of waste plastic per day yields 778 barrels of diesel blend stocks, 418 barrels of naptha blend stocks and 360 barrels of industrial wax.

ASHLEY, IND. — Brightmark Energy has received $260 million in financing to build the nation’s first commercial-scale plastics-to-fuel plant in Ashley, a small town of fewer than 1,000 residents in the northeast corner of Indiana.

The financing includes $185 million in Indiana green bonds, which were underwritten by Goldman Sachs & Co. Brightmark plans to invest $47 million in the plant, according to KPC News, a local news outlet.

Brightmark is the controlling owner of RES Polyflow, an Ohio-based energy technology company that innovated the process for converting plastics directly into transportation fuel and other products. Brightmark acquired a majority interest in the company in November.

Brightmark Energy Ashley Indiana will convert up to 100,000 tons of plastics into 18 million gallons per year of ultra-low-sulfur diesel and naphtha blend fuels and nearly 6 million gallons a year of commercial-grade wax in a process that is expected to be 93 percent efficient. The outputs could also be used to produce the feedstocks necessary for manufacturing plastic again, “thus creating the world’s first truly circular economy technology for plastics,” according to Brightmark.

“We are excited about the market’s confidence in the validity of this technology to economically convert single-use plastics for new uses,” says Bob Powell, CEO of San Francisco-based Brightmark and 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.”

The technology will use plastics that can be no longer recycled such as plastic film, flexible packing, Styrofoam and children’s toys. BP plans to purchase fuel made at the plant, which will then be distributed in the region.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for May with completion slated for 2020. At full buildout, 136 manufacturing jobs will be created.

— Alex Tostado

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