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BlueFire inks construction deal for its ethanol plant

A subsidiary of MasTec Inc. will build the Irvine-based firm's Fulton, Miss., facility.

By Kristen SchottPublished: October 05, 2010 10:11 AM

Irvine-based BlueFire Renewables has secured an engineering, procurement and construction deal with MasTec Inc. to develop the alternative fuel firm's planned Fulton, Miss., cellulosic ethanol facility.

Under the agreement, Wanzek Construction Inc. – a subsidiary of Florida-based MasTec – will engineer and build the facility. Construction will cost $296 million and includes a $100 million biomass power plant.

The deal is the third BlueFire has signed in recent weeks for the facility, and it is the final contract needed before the company can move forward with a loan guarantee through the Department of Energy or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"BlueFire Renewables has now satisfied all stated requirements to move forward on an agreement with either the DOE or USDA for a loan guarantee to complete financing of the project," said Arnold Klann, CEO of the company. "BlueFire now stands poised to finalize the government negotiations and affect the financing and construction of this commercial-sized cellulosic ethanol plant."

BlueFire was founded in 2006 with the goal of producing renewable fuels from cellulosic – or green – wastes in an effort to transform the world’s transportation landscape and better manage overflowing landfills.

The company's Fulton project will use green and wood wastes available in the surrounding area for feedstock. It is expected to produce 19 million gallons of ethanol per year.

"BlueFire's proprietary technologies ... should bring environmentally friendly facilities and increased long-term employment to the state of Mississippi," said Jose Mas, MasTec's CEO. "We are glad to be a part of the initial roll-out and we look forward to working with BlueFire on a number of other opportunities."
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