LanzaTech Secures $60 Million From Japanese Giant Mitsui.
A deverloper of transport fuels and chemicals from waste gases, named LanzaTech Ltd, has recently managed to raise over $50 million from investors that have included Mitsui and others.
The Japanese trading house poured $20 million into the New Zealand-based, Auckland, LanzaTech had said in a statement in the recent days. China International Capital Corp and Siemens AG have also joined in as new investors. LanzaTech’s currently existing backers has included the Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund and Vinod Khosla’s venture capital business, were also part of the contribution.
“These funds allow us to increase our geographic reach from India and China to Europe and the Americas,” Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Holmgren said by phone. The company also wants to bring to market more chemical products, which may eventually account for as much as a quarter of its business, she said.
LanzaTech has managed to develop microbes that consume waste gases from industries that have included oil refining and steelmaking and proceeds to turn them into various chemicals and fuels. Steel mills typically flare the byproduct gas or use it to create heat and electricity for industrial processes.
“One of the things we’ve learned how to do is to genetically modify our organism to make chemical products, and by that we mean precursors to propylene and all sorts of commodity chemicals that are very valuable in the marketplace,” Holmgren said. It also wants to test its technology using other gases.
LazaTech has begun to collaborate with Siemens metals technologies unit commercialize and market systems for the steel industry. They have already managed to complete “pre-commercial” plants steel mills that are owned by the Chinese producers know as Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp. and Shougang Group. There first commercial plant with Baosteel should start working next year..
The fuel and chemicals maker plans to continue raising money even further within the next six months. “We’ve had a couple of other partners that are going through the process and that may invest in this round,” Holmgren said. “This should be the end until we go public or become cash-flow positive.” Holmgren expects to start generating profit at the end of 2016 or early 2017.
LanzaTech will also be working alongside Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, which will eventually begin to supply its airline with clean jet fuel. The company is looking for sites within the U,K. and Asia to beginning building its first production by the end of the year. Virgin planes have been estimated to be able to start using its fuel sometimes in 2017.