RES Polyflow closes on financing for Ashley facility
By Mike Marturello | Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly
The parent company of RES Polyflow has closed financing for land and equipment for a 40-acre site near Ashley that will be used to construct a plant that converts waste plastic to fuel and wax products.
Financing for the project — originally known as RES Polyflow and now also known as Brightmark Energy Ashley Indiana — had been the major obstacle to getting the operation off the ground. It will be the first of its kind in the nation.
RES Polyflow has been working on developing the Ashley plant since 2015.
The financing for Brightmark Energy Ashley Indiana includes $185 million in Indiana green bonds, which were underwritten by Goldman Sachs & Co. As part of the financing closing, Brightmark has become the controlling owner of RES Polyflow, the Ohio-based energy technology company that innovated the process for converting plastics directly into transportation fuel and other products.
Groundbreaking is scheduled for May 22, only a month later than officials anticipated in November.
Town of Ashley and Steuben County officials have been working with RES Polyflow since 2015 on possibly siting a plant on bare ground near Ashley owned by Wayne Klink near his Klink Trucking facility on C.R. 800S east of Interstate 69.
The company eventually will employ some 136 people, a forecast says. It has been assured tax abatement by the county and will receive state training incentives.
RES Polyflow is an Ohio-based energy technology company that innovated the process for converting plastics directly into transportation fuel and other products, on the creation of a platform for developing future plastics-to-fuel projects.
“I’m excited to be joining a team that has the experience and capability to further the RES Polyflow technology. The Ashley facility provides the next step in realizing our vision to end plastic pollution, and we look forward to partnering with Brightmark to develop future plastics-to-fuel projects throughout the United States,” said Jay Schabel, president of Brightmark Energy’s plastics division and of RES Polyflow.
Steuben County has loaned the town of Ashley $1.5 million at 2% interest to put in a street, railroad crossing and utilities to accommodate RES Polyflow and possible future development.
Klink is donating land for the road and easements for utilities.
The land being developed is 80 acres, with 40 being used by RES Polyflow. The remainder is open for other development. Since the project’s inception, it has been said that supplier businesses likely would come on line in the area.
Ashley’s loan would be used as a 50-50 match for a possible federal grant for infrastructure the town is seeking. If the grant falls through, Ashley will bond for the other half of the money needed for the infrastructure, Karen McEntarfer, Ashley clerk-treasurer, said last year. Because the project hadn’t been closed, Ashley has not been able to secure that grant with the assistance of Region 3A.
When RES Polyflow came calling in late 2015 and early 2016, the company received $1.5 million in a loan from Steuben County to help with seed money to get financing for the project. Initially a low-interest loan, the money was paid back in October. That included $100,875 in interest, because the loan had not been repaid while it was under terms as interest-free.
Prior to the loan being repaid, RES Polyflow and Ashley officials asked both the commissioners and the council that the same amount, $1.5 million, be loaned to Ashley to fund infrastructure.
Once the plant is up and running, which could be sometime next year, it will convert 100,000 tons of plastic waste into 18 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and naphtha blend stocks per year. The facility will also produce commercial-grade waxes for sale to the industrial wax market.
The process is expected to be 93% efficient.
“We are excited about the market’s confidence in the validity of this technology to economically convert single-use plastics for new uses,” said Bob Powell, CEO of Brightmark Energy and of RES Polyflow. “This technology provides a strong incentive for diverting single-use plastics away from oceans, waterways, communities and landfills by creating reusable value. Plastic pollution is such a pressing global issue, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to provide a solution.”
BP will purchase the fuels produced by the facility, which will be distributed in the regional petroleum market. The Ashley plant will also produce commercial-grade waxes for sale to the industrial wax market, which will be purchased by AM WAX.