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Sapphire Energy is now working on scaling up its production of the world's first renewable crude oil

A green crude oil production company has paid off its loan guarantee to the U.S. government early and in full. 

Sapphire Energy, a producer of the world’s first renewable crude oil, fully repaid its $54.5 million loan guarantee early. The loan was awarded to Sapphire Energy by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2009 through the Biorefinery Assistance Program.

“Sapphire Energy is very grateful to the USDA for supporting algae crude oil as an alternative source of energy as well as our vision to make this industry a reality,” said Cynthia ‘CJ’ Warner, CEO and chairman of Sapphire Energy. “With their backing, we did exactly what we set out to do. We grew our company, advanced our algae technologies, and built, on time and on budget, the first, fully operational, commercial demonstration, algae-to-energy facility that delivers a proven process for producing refinery-ready Green Crude oil. We could not have built this first of a kind facility without the support of the USDA. Moving forward, our focus is on commercializing our technology and expanding operations to bring crude oil production to commercial demonstration scale as planned.”


Sapphire Energy is now working on scaling up its production of the world's first renewable crude oil. The company built its Green Crude Farm, which promotes algae crude oil production from cultivation to extraction. Its biofuel is made from photosynthetic microorganisms like algae and cyanobacteria, and uses sunlight and carbon dioxide as their feedstock. Also, its biofuel is not dependent on food crops or farmland, does not use potable water, does not result in biodiesel or ethanol, and is low carbon, renewable and scalable. 
 
The farm has created over 600 jobs throughout its phase 1 construction with about 30 full-time employees currently operating the facility. 
 
Sapphire Energy plans to produce 100 barrels of crude oil per day in 2015, and hit commercial-scale production in 2018.

This isn't the first government loan to be paid off early this year. Back in May, Tesla Motors repaid its $465 million loan to the U.S. Department of Energy nine years early

Source: Sapphire Energy



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Huh? My math is missing something.
By spamreader1 on 8/1/2013 2:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
They're not up to 100 Barrels a day. A barrel today costs approx $105. So in 2015, they'll be making $10,500 worth of crude a day, not profit mind you, they haven't mentioned margins at all as far as I can find. They employee lots of employees (~600), so I'm sure they must be burning through more than that in salary alone.

How in the heck did they pay off thier loan, let alone remain solvent?




RE: Huh? My math is missing something.
By toffty on 8/1/2013 2:28:15 PM , Rating: 5
Probably private investors who, in total, have invested more than the $55 million that was just paid back. It was probably found through focus groups that it would be positive news for the company to repay the loan early thus gaining more interest and investments for the company.


RE: Huh? My math is missing something.
By Spuke on 8/1/2013 3:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
Article says they have 30 full time employees. More than likely the 600 was employees plus construction workers, etc.


By spamreader1 on 8/1/2013 5:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
True, I worded that wrong, 600 jobs is more accurate, still even if only 30 employees that would be taxing. Makes sense on the outside investors. I hope they're able to ramp up production as they forsee, would be nice to get something to replace food crop sources.


By Schrag4 on 8/2/2013 2:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
Even if it's just 30 employees, I don't see how 100bbl/day would be near enough to stay in business. Even if each barrel didn't cost them a penny to produce, that STILL doesn't sound like enough. The costs not even related to actual production or salaries would account for a significant chunk of what they can sell the crude for. It kind of makes me wonder if, from a revenue standpoint, the sale of crude will be dwarfed by any subsidies or credits related to renewables.


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