HOUSTON and PLEASANTON, Calif., Nov. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) today announced that it has closed an equity investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy , Inc. (Fulcrum). In connection with this investment, WM agreed to a secured loan facility that provides for WM's funding of up to $70 million for Fulcrum's proposed Sierra BioFuels plant upon the satisfaction of certain conditions. The parties also entered into a master project development agreement to collaborate on the joint development of Fulcrum projects in various locations throughout the United States using municipal solid waste supplied by subsidiaries of Waste Management under long-term feedstock agreements.
"This investment underpins our commitment to supporting innovative technologies that extract the value in waste and converts it into clean renewable energy," said Joe Vaillancourt, managing director for Waste Management's Organic Growth Group. "We look forward to the development of Fulcrum's commercial-scale plant that is designed to convert over one hundred thousand tons of waste a year into clean, renewable transportation fuel.""We're excited to enter this strategic relationship with Waste Management that enhances our financial resources and provides access to additional feedstock. This allows us to expand our national development program that includes projects with the total capacity to produce more than one billion gallons of fuel annually," said E. James Macias, president and CEO of Fulcrum BioEnergy. "Waste Management joins a list of strategic partners that share our vision for turning waste into clean, domestic, advanced biofuels." "The loan facility provides us with additional value as a back-up source of debt capital in the event we are not able to finalize a federal loan guarantee that we are pursuing," said Eric N. Pryor, vice president and CFO of Fulcrum BioEnergy. "This investment provides us the financial resources to move forward with the construction of our Sierra BioFuels plant." "Fulcrum is deploying an innovative proprietary system to convert post-recycled municipal solid waste into advanced biofuels. Beginning with a thermochemical gasification system that converts the MSW into a syngas, Fulcrum has developed a proprietary alcohol synthesis process that efficiently and economically converts the syngas into advanced biofuels," added Macias.