Sunday, July 5, 2009

Funding boost for Redmond-based waste methane processor


Landfills, coal beds and cattle feedlots all produce methane, which is often either flared — that is, burned off — or released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas.

Prometheus Energy, a five-year-old company based in Redmond, Wash., has developed a technology to turn that waste methane into liquid natural gas. And the company this week raised $20 million from the Shell Technology Ventures Fund, a fund related to the petroleum company Royal Dutch Shell and Black River Asset Management, a subsidiary of the agriculture giant Cargill.

The deal represents a vote of confidence from a fund connected to the world’s largest nongovernmental producer of liquid natural gas, and industry insiders say it’s a victory for a technology that has remained small until now.

Michael Butler, the chief executive of Cascadia Capital, an investment banking firm that arranged the financing for Prometheus, said that Shell, which has plenty of stranded oil and gas mines that could supply waste methane, wants to help Prometheus expand around the world. The news also signifies a second chance for Prometheus, which was delisted from London’s Alternative Investment Market last year.

The 27-employee company began producing liquid natural gas at plants in Southern California and in southern Utah last year, and expects to start production at a plant in Poland next year, said Kirt Montague, the chief executive of Prometheus. The company takes waste gas that landfills and coal mines already collect for flaring, and purifies it into methane, removing the carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water, oxygen, sulfur and other components, before converting it into liquid natural gas. …

Funding Boost for Waste Methane Processor

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