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Primus Green Energy Raises $12 Million for Demo Plant

Primus Green Energy Inc., a biofuel company backed by Israel Corp., raised $12 million that will be used to finish a demonstration plant later this year.

Primus has received $40 million since 2007 from IC Green Energy Ltd., the renewable-energy arm of Tel-Aviv-based holding company Israel Corp., which may invest another $30 million, George Boyajian, vice president of business development, said today in an interview. The company could raise as much as $100 million this year from investors, including $15 million to $30 million over the next two quarters, Boyajian said.

Primus combines pellets of woody plant material with natural gas to produce 93-octane gasoline, the Hillsborough, New Jersey-based company said today in a statement.

“We’re making proprietary improvements to existing technologies, making a better-quality gasoline at a better efficiency,” Boyajian said. “We’re not dealing with the science anymore. We’re dealing with the engineering of building these facilities.”

The demonstration plant will be built near the company’s pilot plant in Hillsborough. Primus plans to start work on a commercial-scale facility, either for gasoline or for chemical production, next year in eastern Pennsylvania, Boyajian said. The company’s biomass gasoline generates more than four times as much energy as ethanol grown from plants on the same acreage.

“It’s our expectation we’ll build dedicated plants to one or both” gasoline or chemicals, Boyajian said. The facility could produce 5 million to 10 million gallons of fuel annually, and “as we settle on a site and settle on the economics with a partner, then we’ll determine the capacity of the plant,” he said.

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