BlueFire Could Get Up to $270 Million From China Export Bank

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) — BlueFire Renewables Inc. may receive
as much as $270 million from China’s Export Import Bank to
finish building a cellulosic-ethanol plant in Mississippi, its
chief executive officer said.

The debt financing is expected to close in the first half
of next year, CEO Arnold Klann said today in a telephone
interview from headquarters in Irvine, California. After that,
construction on the facility would resume as could the rest of
funding from the Department of Energy, he said.

BlueFire received about $10 million of an $88 million grant
awarded in 2009 before the department withheld the remainder
because of the company’s “inability to comply with certain
deadlines,” according to a Dec. 27. U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission filing.

“The main reason the grant was pulled was because last
year DOE decided they needed a tight schedule on financing —
they wanted a much quicker closing than what was anticipated by
the Chinese,” Klann said. “In terms of getting the grant
reinstated, we’re in the process of doing that right now.”

A China Huadian Corp. unit agreed in 2011 to buy an
undisclosed stake in the $390 million Fulton, Mississippi,
project, which will be built by China Three Gorges Corp. The
facility is expected to produce 19 million gallons (72 million
liters) a year from wood and plant waste as early as the first
half of 2017. Site work including grading is finished.

Tenaska Biofuels LLC agreed in 2010 to buy output from the
Fulton plant.

After BlueFire begins production at the plant “we’ll take
that technology back to China,” Klann said, referring to the
company’s biofuels knowledge. “We’ve done development in China,
looking at feedstock sources and other opportunities, and we’ve
identified about four sites that would be ideal for deploying a
first plant.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Justin Doom in New York at
jdoom1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Robin Saponar, Will Wade

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