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SK Innovation invests US$20 mln in U.S. biofuel company

Industry 11:00 July 13, 2022

SEOUL, July 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean refiner SK Innovation Co. said Wednesday it has invested US$20 million in a U.S. biofuel company, as it accelerates its push for the shift to green energy businesses.

The equity investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc., a California-based producer of low-carbon fuels, represents additional backing by SK, South Korea's No. 2 conglomerate, as SK's holding firm made a combined $50 million investment with a local private equity firm in December last year.

Details on the amount of shares or the portion of stake SK Innovation holds in Fulcrum were not disclosed.

SK Innovation said it will work with Fulcrum to explore Asian markets with biofuel energy, particularly converting waste into fuel by gasifying landfill waste to produce low-carbon transportation fuels.

In the waste gasification process, trash is heated in a low-oxygen environment to produce synthesis gas -- a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide -- and the synthetic gas is then processed into high-value products, like synthetic crude oil. The synthetic crude oil can be refined to sustainable jet fuel.

Fulcrum is commercializing a process to produce synthetic crude oil from household garbage for the first time in the United States. It has the proprietary refinery technology to gasify the garbage and produce the synthetic crude oil.

Fulcrum began operations of its commercial-scale biofuel plant in Nevada with an annual capacity of 11 million gallons per year.

This image, provided by SK Innovation Co. on July 13, 2022, shows the synthetic crude oil production process. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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