CUPERTINO, Calif. – Sept. 28, 2015 – Aemetis, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMTX), an advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals company, announced the harvesting of 12- to 15- foot tall biomass sorghum grown in Central California that was produced using proprietary Nexsteppe seed genetics. Biomass Sorghum is a feedstock for low carbon advanced biofuels. The 20 acre demonstration crop of biomass sorghum was planted, grown, and harvested by Aemetis in approximately 90 days, validating the potential use of biomass crops for the production of lower-carbon, advanced biofuels or as a rotational crop in California. The water supply for the biomass sorghum crop was lower-quality pump water containing salts that typically damage crops. The project was located in the western San Joaquin Valley which has received a low water allocation from state and federal sources for the past several years.
In addition to the biomass sorghum demonstration, Aemetis is also a participant in the California In-State Sorghum program (CISS) through a $3 million grant awarded by the California Energy Commission. The CISS program combines research and market development to support the in-state growth of grain sorghum as a reliable low-carbon feedstock for California’s ethanol producers. The CISS program has just completed the first harvest of grain sorghum at the CSU Fresno International Center for Water Technology.
Aemetis’ 60 million gallon per year ethanol plant in California converts sugars to biofuels. Aemetis has a multi-year strategy to transition its biofuel production from traditional starch-based feedstocks to renewable biomass feedstocks that can produce low-carbon, advanced biofuels. The transition is expected to evolve from corn to grain sorghum and ultimately to biomass sorghum and agricultural wastes available in California.
The federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates up to 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels per year by 2022. As of 2015, announced US cellulosic fuels producers’ nameplate capacity is about 85 million gallons. The cellulosic feedstock grown in the Central Valley can produce a variety of renewable fuels such as cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, renewable gasoline and renewable jet fuel.
“Nexsteppe’s sorghum is uniquely capable of growing a large amount of biomass in a short period of time using land that lacks quality water and where other plants may not grow,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aemetis. “Biomass sorghum can be converted to cellulosic ethanol or a variety of other renewable fuels through various available technologies. Aemetis has already processed about 80 million pounds of grain sorghum at its Keyes biorefinery, producing lower-carbon fuel ethanol.”
“Growing high-yield biomass sorghum in California is a milestone in the production of low-carbon feedstocks for biofuels,” stated Anna Rath, CEO of NexSteppe. “NexSteppe is focused on designing industrial sorghum feedstock solutions to support the growing biobased economy.”
Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Aemetis is an advanced renewable fuels and renewable chemicals company focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of innovative technologies that replace traditional petroleum-based products by the conversion of first-generation ethanol and biodiesel plants into advanced biorefineries. Founded in 2006, Aemetis owns and operates a 60 million gallon per year ethanol production facility in the California Central Valley. Aemetis also owns and operates a 50 million gallon per year renewable chemical and advanced fuel production facility on the East Coast of India, producing high quality distilled biodiesel and refined glycerin for customers in India and Europe. Aemetis operates a research and development laboratory at the Maryland Biotech Center, and holds a portfolio of patents and related technology licenses for the production of renewable fuels and biochemicals. For additional information about Aemetis, please visit www.aemetis.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding our assumptions, projections, expectations, targets, intentions or beliefs about future events or other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, without limitation, statements regarding the use of biomass crops for the production of lower-carbon, advanced biofuels, our ability to transition our biofuel production from traditional starch-based feedstocks to renewable biomass feedstocks that can produce low-carbon, advanced biofuels, the impact of our participation in the California In-State Sorghum (CISS) program and the impact of federal Renewable Fuel Standards.. Words or phrases such as “anticipates,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “predicts,” “projects,” “targets,” “will likely result,” “will continue” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on current assumptions and predictions and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. Actual results or events could differ materially from those set forth or implied by such forward-looking statements and related assumptions due to certain factors, including, without limitation, competition in the ethanol and other industries in which we operate, commodity market risks including those that may result from current weather conditions, financial market risks, counter-party risks, risks associated with changes to government policy or regulation, and other risks detailed in our reports filed or to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and in our subsequent filings with the SEC. We are not obligated, and do not intend, to update any of these forward-looking statements at any time unless an update is required by applicable securities laws.