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Aemetis gets construction green light for Riverbank Carbon Zero biorefinery

In the United States (US), renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable fuels company Aemetis Inc. has announced that it has received the Authority To Construct (ATC) from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (San Joaquin Valley APCD) related to the Aemetis ‘Carbon Zero 1’ biorefinery project in Riverbank, California (CA).

Walnut shells for disposal. The Central Valley of California produces more than 1.6 million tons of orchard waste and nutshells annually from around 1 million acres of almond, pistachio and walnut orchards (photo courtesy Markku Björkman).

The Central Valley of California produces more than 1.6 million tons of orchard waste and nutshells annually from around 1 million acres of almond, pistachio, and walnut orchards. (Above) walnut shells for disposal. Using patented technology exclusive to Aemetis for agricultural waste wood feedstock, the Aemetis Carbon Zero production plants are designed to convert below zero carbon feedstocks (waste wood and ag wastes) and renewable energy such as solar, renewable natural gas (RNG), or biogas into energy-dense liquid renewable fuels (photo courtesy Markku Björkman).

In total Aemetis has received nineteen permits from the San Joaquin Valley APCD relating to the project in which each permit states a specific set of equipment and the conditions for the operation of each unit. This includes up to three gasifiers to process orchard waste and forest wood.

The Authority To Construct air permits are a significant permitting milestone for the construction of the Aemetis renewable fuels biorefinery at the 142-acre Riverbank Industrial Complex. The engineering, application, and review process required several years of work by our technical team with the support of several environmental consultants.  The collaborative, supportive approach taken by the regional air district enabled this process to move forward at a steady pace, said Eric McAfee, Chairman, and CEO of Aemetis.

The Carbon Zero biorefinery is scheduled to be completed and begin operations in the year 2023, then double production capacity by the year 2025.

We are thankful to the staff at the San Joaquin Valley APCD for their diligent and professional work. We can now begin the fabrication of equipment by vendors and expand our project team to ramp up the construction process, creating more than US$200 million of planned investment and employment in the Central Valley as we build and operate the biorefinery, Eric McAfee said.

The project is supported by US$17 million combined total of grant funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA).

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