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Riverstone, Carlyle to build bio refinery

Riverstone Holdings and The Carlyle Group have partnered to create a facility for ethanol, canola oil and biodiesel in Canada.

US private equity investors Riverstone Holdings and The Carlyle Group are joining with Dominion Energy Services, a developer of renewable fuel refineries, to establish a bio refinery in Alberta, Canada, The Carlyle Group said in a statement.

“We believe renewable energy will play an increasing role in delivering the energy needs of North America,” said Stephen Schaefer, Riverstone’s managing director, in the statement.

The facility will have a capacity of 300 million gallons, with 100 million gallons allotted each to ethanol, canola oil and bio diesel.

Ethanol and biodiesel are both renewable, clean-burning fuels that reduce harmful emissions, the statement said. Construction of the ethanol facility will take place first, beginning in the first quarter of 2007, with commercial production expected by mid-2008. Construction on the canola oil crush and biodiesel facilities will take place soon after that, the statement said. 

“The production from the Alberta facility will help meet national and provincial renewable fuel targets, and the crop supply and labour will be drawn from the local community,” said Curtis Chandler, president of Dominion Energy, in the statement.

Riverstone, Carlyle and Dominion have highlighted the creation of jobs that will accompany the facility, noting in the statement that they expected the plants to create a total of 90 jobs as well as 200 additional indirect jobs related to the plant. Construction jobs will total approximately 400 people.

The Carlyle/Riverstone Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund I, which closed at $685 million this year, will have a controlling interest in the facility, the statement said.

Launched in 2000, the Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Funds provide capital for buyouts, growth capital and joint ventures in the energy and power industries.

Phoenix Exploration Company, a Carlyle/Riverstone platform, agreed to buy an on- and offshore oil-field asset from Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation for $340 million in August.