Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Algae Openings

As we track developments under the Department of Energy grants, we are particularly looking at job creation. Algenol Biofuels (private) was the subject of our January 5, 2010 post “Texas Green Gold.” The Company was awarded $25.0 million by the DOE to produce ethanol from carbon dioxide and seawater using algae. This week Algenol has three job openings listed on its web site, which we did not see back in January 2010.

Now it is clear that the positions are not the type that were targets of the massive restructuring in 2008 and early 2009 that left hundreds of thousands unemployed. Algenol is looking for two engineers, both of which must have doctorates in mechanical or chemical engineering. The positions will be responsible for design and scale-up of Algenol’s ethanol production systems. However, the third position, a contract administrator, does not even require a bachelor degree.

We have to conclude the DOE grant award is facilitating progress with Algenol’s various projects and the hiring process that goes along with each proposed plant. Even if Algenol has not yet received a check from the DOE, knowing that the funds will eventually be available has likely given Algenol confidence to spend its own resources elsewhere.

Algenol is still targeting the end of 2010 for production at its ethanol plant in Sonora, Mexico. Lee County, Florida county commissions voted in February 2010, to approve $10 million in financial support for an Algenol algae-based ethanol plant in that community. The county commissioners were so generous, in part, because Algenol promised the plant would create 100 new job openings. A third plant planned for location in Freeport, Texas is the recipient of the DOE grant.

It seems the hard-working algae are creating employment opportunities for everybody.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

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