Gevo Inc., a renewable fuels company focused on the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), today provides updates on the company and projects currently in process.
Follow-on equity offering
On June 5, 2022, the company executed a registered direct offering of 33.3 million shares to certain institutional investors. That offering closed on June 8, 2022, and the net proceeds of $139.2 million combined with the company’s existing cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and marketable securities provide the company with approximately $555.7 million of liquidity (as of June 15, 2022) to fund future operations and capital projects. As part of the offering, the company issued 33.3 million Series 2022-A Warrants with an exercise price of $4.37 per share. If all 33.3 million Series 2022-A Warrants were to be exercised in cash at the exercise price of $4.37 per share, the Company would receive additional net proceeds of approximately $145.7 million.
The recent offering has further strengthened the company’s balance sheet, which is expected to facilitate the financing of the Company’s Net-Zero 1 project (NZ1) and provide financial resources for the company’s numerous growth opportunities. Given the forecasts of a recession in the near future and a generally negative market outlook, the Board of Directors made the decision to raise equity capital to ensure to the highest probability that Gevo has enough cash on hand to close its NZ1 financing, even if Gevo is responsible for 100 percent of the equity in the project. Gevo is in the process of developing additional plant sites to meet demand under its existing SAF and hydrocarbon supply agreements, and some of the proceeds are expected to be used to advance those efforts.
Gevo now has more than 200 million gallons per year (MGPY) of predominantly take-or-pay, financeable SAF and hydrocarbon fuel supply agreements, which are expected to support project debt financing. This level of demand would require three additional plants of equal size to the expected capacity of NZ1 (currently expected to be approximately 55 million gallons per year) to be built over the next four years to satisfy those agreements. Based on current market projections, collectively, these agreements represent approximately $1.2 billion in expected sales per year.
Net-Zero 1 Status
Gevo’s NZ1 project is on schedule with initial volumes of SAF expected to be delivered in 2025 to fulfill a portion of existing SAF and hydrocarbon supply agreements. NZ1 is expected to produce approximately 55 MGPY of SAF or 62 MGPY of total hydrocarbon volumes, which would satisfy part of the 200 MGPY of financeable SAF and hydrocarbon supply agreements that are currently in place.
The transition to an ethanol-to-SAF design from Gevo’s original isobutanol-to-SAF and isooctane design has resulted in an expected increase of output capacity which should result in increased cash flow. Gevo’s engineering design work to date has resulted in an expected 35 percent uplift in hydrocarbon output and a 22 percent expected uplift in co-product volume. These higher projected volumes suggest a 33 percent improvement in project EBITDA, or an expected increase from $150 million per year to $200 million per year of project EBITDA when comparing the two designs. The difference in capital cost between the two designs is negligible; however, the uplift in volumes associated with the ethanol-to-SAF design leads to increased cash flows per unit of capital invested.
Key NZ1 development milestones
Through year-end 2022:
•Close the purchase of the land for NZ1 in Lake Preston, South Dakota
•Execute commercial development, build, own and operate agreements for water, wind energy and green hydrogen
•Select engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor
•Select fabricator for hydrocarbon plant modules
•Substantial Completion of Front End Engineering Design
•Break ground and begin site preparation at Lake Preston
•Order long lead equipment
Through first-half 2023:
•Close the construction financing, including non-recourse debt
Throughout the remainder of 2022 and 2023, Gevo will update stockholders about certain key milestones related to the development, financing, and construction of NZ1. Updates to those milestones will be found in the Company’s press releases and investor presentations in the IR section of Gevo’s website.
Additional plant sites
The company is in the process of identifying and performing early site development work for additional SAF production locations. These sites include several greenfield locations that are particularly advantageous in terms of potential economics, opportunities to decarbonize, and time to market. Gevo is also pursuing prospects with several existing ethanol plant sites, including those of ADM. Existing ethanol plants need to be decarbonized with renewable energy or de-fossilized energy and/or carbon sequestration. Gevo has developed a preferred list of partners and sites with decarbonization in mind and is engaged in preliminary feasibility and development discussions with several of them, including ADM.
RNG project status
Gevo’s renewable natural gas (RNG) project in Northwest Iowa (the RNG project) has been producing biogas and is now upgrading and injecting RNG into the natural gas pipeline. The RNG Project generates renewable natural gas captured from dairy cow manure. The manure for the RNG Project is supplied by three dairy farms located in Northwest Iowa totaling over 20,000 milking cows. When at full operational capacity, the RNG Project is expected to generate approximately 355,000 MMBtu of RNG per year, which will be transported and sold in California. BP Canada Energy Marketing Corp. and BP Products North America Inc. (collectively, bp) will market the RNG in California on behalf of Gevo, and Gevo expects that the RNG Project will generate between $16 and $22 million of Project EBITDA per year beginning by 2023 depending on a variety of assumptions, including the value of credits under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard Program and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in California. Gevo expects to be able to get approval for renewable identification numbers (RINs) through RFS and carbon credits from LCFS later this year or next year.
Verity Tracking is developing the tools, techniques, software, data access to track carbon score and other sustainability attributes using “blockchain” technology. The benefit is having audited, transparent, immutable sustainability data attached to biofuels and is expected to be valuable to our customers, colleague companies, and partners. Verity has continued to develop 3rd party partnerships that will contribute to its development objectives over the coming quarters. Gevo and Blocksize-Capital have identified a series of internal milestones that Verity will need to achieve over the next few quarters in order to develop into a stand-alone business unit, either as part of Gevo or as a separate entity.
The letter of intent between Gevo and Chevron that was signed in September of 2021 and scheduled to expire on March 31, 2022, has been extended until August 31, 2022. Chevron has a strong interest in Gevo’s isobutanol-to-SAF, isobutylene and isooctane technology. Chevron and the Company have mutually agreed upon an extension that allows discussions and negotiations to continue.
Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo commented, “While this has been a productive quarter and year-to-date, the financial markets have been chaotic. Our recent decision to issue equity was made to ensure Gevo’s balance sheet could withstand the challenging financial markets that we expect over the next two years while continuing to move forward with our NZ projects. As we move closer to FID and financial close on the debt component for NZ1, it should be clear to investors that Gevo has the capital needed to execute its development plan and that the value proposition of the SAF that will be produced by NZ1 is remarkable. Over time, as demand from the aviation industry continues to exceed supply, there should be opportunities for early movers, like Gevo, to create additional, accretive partnerships that will benefit our stockholders.”
This content was originally published here.