Kior to Get $100 Million From Khosla and Gates for Biofuel Plant

Kior Inc., operator of the first U.S. commercial-scale cellulosic biofuel plant, received commitments for $100 million in financing from Khosla Ventures LLC and Gates Ventures LLC to expand production at its Columbus, Mississippi, plant.

Kior issued $42.5 million in convertible debt to Khosla Ventures, which also agreed to purchase as much as $42.5 million of shares in the Pasadena, Texas-based biofuel company after it raises enough to build its Columbus II project, according to a statement today. Gates Ventures bought a $7.5 million equity stake and will purchase an additional $7.5 in stock when the plant is fully funded.

Kior expects to complete financing for the $225 million Columbus II plant through a debt offering, according to the statement. Vinod Khosla and his Khosla Ventures committed another $50 million to the plant last month. Khosla Ventures is Kior’s largest shareholder, with a 26 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Columbus site went into production in October and has annual capacity of as much as 13 million gallons (49 million liters) of transportation fuel from wood waste and non-food crops, the company said. The Columbus II addition is expected to double that to 26 million gallons.

Kior said in August that it shipped about 75,000 gallons in the second quarter, compared with a May forecast of as much as 500,000 gallons.

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