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The US Department of Energy (DOE) issued a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0001313) to support the research, development, and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactor concepts. The announcement represents an early step in increasing investment in nuclear advanced reactor technologies, the DOE said.
DOE will partner with industry to fund up to two awards of approximately $6.0 million each in FY 2015. The Energy Department will invest up to $3.6 million in each project, with a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) providing up to an additional $2.4 million. Recipients will be required to invest $1.5 million as part of the cost share. The funding opportunity allows for multiple-year funding for up to two awards with a total of $40 million in DOE cost share per award.
We have been encouraged by recent interest in advanced reactor technology. We believe this funding opportunity will foster scientific innovation to advance the goals of the Department in developing clean energy technologies.—Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy John Kotek
The objective of this FOA is to support two performance-based advanced reactor concepts for further development in the areas of safety, operations, and economics. The expected outcome of the resulting awards are to assess feasibility questions; to solve technical issues; to address licensing challenges; and to demonstrate the technical viability of the concepts features.
Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent by 31 August 2015. The application due date is 5 October 2015. DOE will issue a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document addressing questions regarding this FOA. The Department will also conduct a Webinar covering project details and FOA application instructions at 1:00 p.m. (EST) on 24 August 2015.
DOE anticipates notifying applicants selected for award by late November 2015 and making award(s) by early February 2016. DOE reserves the right to make additional award selections using applications submitted in response to this FOA for up to two years after the initial award selection date, if agreed to by the applicant(s) selected for additional award(s). Award(s) for this project are subject to the availability of Federal funding.
Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG) will acquire substantially all the assets of Imperium Renewables, Inc., including a 100-million gallon nameplate capacity biomass-based diesel refinery and deepwater port terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor, Washington. (Earlier post.)
Under the terms of the agreement, REG will pay Imperium $15 million in cash and issue 1.5 million shares of REG common stock in exchange for substantially all of Imperium’s assets.
In addition to these payments, REG will pay either $1.75 million in cash or 175,000 shares of REG common stock at closing as elected by REG. For two years post-closing, Imperium may receive up to a $0.05/gallon payment for biomass-based diesel produced and sold. In addition at closing, Imperium will retain its net working capital value of approximately $25 million. REG will also assume $5.2 million of Imperium’s debt from Umpqua Bank, which has agreed to provide REG Grays Harbor, LLC with an additional loan capacity of up to $5 million to fund capital expenditures and improvements at the Grays Harbor facility. Closing is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
Bringing the Imperium assets and their team into the REG network is a tremendous addition to our business. As we combine our companies, we will expand the reach of REG along the west coast, including production and distribution. We already sell into these markets as they have responded to the call for more clean, advanced biofuels through low carbon fuel standards. This will enable REG to be more efficient and timely in our delivery and improve our supply assurance.—REG President and CEO Daniel J. Oh
Based in Ames, Iowa, REG is the leading North American producer and marketer of biomass-based diesel, with 10 active biorefineries across the US and a nationwide production, distribution and logistics system.
Seattle-based Imperium Renewables began developing proprietary technology and processes in the production of biodiesel in 2004. The Grays Harbor refinery began operation in August 2007 in Hoquiam, Wash. and is well positioned for advanced biofuel production, storage, and transport from southern California to western Canada. The fully-operational 100-million gallon nameplate capacity biorefinery will be renamed REG Grays Harbor, LLC. The facility includes 18 million gallons of storage capacity and a terminal that can accommodate feedstock intake and fuel delivery on deep-water PANAMAX class vessels as well as possessing significant rail and truck transport capability.
The Volkswagen Group nominated the first 44 suppliers who will be collaborating with the Group on a new common strategic level under the joint FAST initiative. Among the 44 is LG Electronics for the supply of high-voltage batteries. (Earlier post.)
Volkswagen Group Procurement is responding to the challenges currently facing the automotive industry by working together with its suppliers under the “Future Automotive Supply Tracks” initiative (or FAST for short) and will implement technical innovations even faster. Volkswagen AG said it chose the first tranche of suppliers for “their outstanding performance in their respective field of competence based on a systematic selection process.”
Volkswagen FAST is a fundamental element of the Group’s “Future Tracks” program and is designed to equip Volkswagen AG’s automotive network to meet future challenges.
In future, it will not be the corporation with the best negotiating skills that has the advantage, but the one that has also successfully established an optimal supplier network. The nominated FAST suppliers are important beacons in our network and I am looking forward to even closer and more intensive collaboration.—Dr. Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management responsible for Procurement
Volkswagen launched the FAST program in February 2015. Extensive performance evaluations conducted over the last few months resulted in the selection of the first 44 suppliers; these companies are considered by Volkswagen to be outstanding partners in their respective sectors.
In the next step, the Group will be deepening top management level discussions with the nominated partner companies. Going forward, the respective strategies and technological orientation in the individual categories will be even more closely coordinated and aligned. The aim is to successfully implement joint technological innovations ever faster than in the past and to realize vehicle projects worldwide even more efficiently and effectively.
The first nomination phase will come to an end in spring 2016. Suppliers not yet nominated still have the opportunity to qualify for the FAST program. Volkswagen continually reviews supplier performance for this exclusive partnership and adjusts the circle of FAST suppliers as required. The “FAST Summit”, the first exclusive strategy conference with all partners, will take place in spring 2016.
With the FAST initiative, the Volkswagen Group is working together with its suppliers to respond to current challenges and the digital transformation taking place in the automotive industry. There is to be a sustained increase in the number of product and process innovations and in the speed with which these innovations are turned into real experiences for customers. In future, suppliers are to be involved in the relevant product innovation cycles within the Group at an even earlier stage than previously. In addition, the production networks will be harmonized even more closely in order to generate further synergy effects and derive the optimal benefit.
The first group of nominated FAST partners and their respective fields of competence are listed below: