A California firm is proposing building a facility in Gary that will convert solid waste into low-carbon, renewable transportation fuel.
Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., announced Dec. 13 it had selected Gary for its Centerpoint BioFuels Plant. The estimated investment is $600 million and when fully operational by 2022, the facility could employ up to 160 people.
“Launching our business in Indiana is an important next step in expanding Fulcrum's capabilities to new cities rich in innovation and opportunity,” Jim Macias, president and CEO of Fulcrum, said in a statement. “Fulcrum's municipal solid waste-to-fuels process will help reduce the impacts from climate change and boost the economy by producing low-carbon transportation fuel as well as bringing high-paying jobs and investment to northwest Indiana.”
Construction is expected to begin in 2020 and will take approximately 18-24 months to complete, the company said. Once operational, the plant will divert and process approximately 700,000 tons of waste from the greater Chicago area.
The company said the plant will process the waste, which will be converted offsite into a prepared feedstock, and will produce approximately 33 million gallons of fuel annually. Centerpoint will utilize Fulcrum's proprietary process, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent when compared to conventional fossil fuels.
“Today is a great day for Gary and one that will have a significant impact on the city and surrounding communities for years to come,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb. “This new waste-to-fuel plant is a huge win for the city of Gary and for the Hoosier workforce across northwest Indiana.”
Fulcrum's Centerpoint plant will be the company's second waste-to-fuels plant. In late 2017, Fulcrum began construction on its Sierra BioFuels Plant near Reno, Nev. When the Sierra plant begins operations in early 2020, it will be the first commercial-scale waste-to-fuels plant in the country.