First-in-nation bio-fuels plant project at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center headed for final approval
A plan to authorize tax exempt revenue bonds to build a plant that will convert municipal waste into jet and diesel fuel will seek final approval from the Nevada state Board of Finance next week.
Business and Industry Director Bruce Breslow held a hearing Tuesday and recommended Fulcrum BioEnergy receive the full $150 million in economic development bonding capacity Nevada received from the federal government this year.
He emphasized that the plan allows Fulcrum to use the $150 million in bonding capacity but doesn’t in any way obligate the state of Nevada or impact the state’s bonding and finances.
Fulcrum Vice President Jeanne Benedetti said Phase 1 of the Fulcrum project is already in operation, turning municipal waste from Lockwood dump east of Reno-Sparks into synthetic crude — a polite description for sludge.
When completed and in operation, she said the Phase 2 plant at TRIC will convert 175,000 tons of municipal waste into some 11 million gallons of jet and diesel fuel.
And she said it does all that without creating pollution, instead, eliminating waste from the Lockwood dump. Benedetti said the process generates some 80 percent less greenhouse gas than other methods.
She said it will be the first such plant in the United States.
The company will build the plant on 14.5 acres of land at TRIC. Benedetti said it will take some 500 construction workers about three years to build the plant. She said it will employ about 120 permanent workers at an average wage of $25.48 an hour.
But she said there will be many more indirect jobs created to truck the produce from Lockwood to the TRIC plant and then the finished product to the Bay Area. Some of the jet fuel produced, she said, will be fed into the pipeline that currently runs from Sparks to the Naval Air Station Fallon.
In addition to the military, she said United and other airline companies are interested in the project as well as companies like Tesoro and Waste Management, which runs the Lockwood dump.
While the Fulcrum plant at TRIC will be the first such plant in the U.S., Benedetti said the technology isn’t new, that Hitler’s Germany used the same basic process to try to produce fuel during the latter part of World War II.
She said the company has already invested about $130 million in the project.
Fulcrum already has all its state environmental and other approvals. The Storey County Commission signed off on the project earlier Tuesday.
Breslow said he will ask the Board of Finance to give final approval to the bonds next Tuesday.