Aemetis Secures $200 Million for Renewable Fuels Expansion Through Immigrant Investor Program

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In a major boost to its ambitious renewable energy growth plans, Aemetis, Inc. has received approval from U.S. immigration authorities for $200 million in low-cost funding from foreign investors through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program. This influx of capital will support construction of several key initiatives at the forefront of Aemetis’ drive to replace petroleum-based products with renewable alternatives.

The $200 million EB-5 investment will primarily fund three transformative projects – the development of a cutting-edge sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production plant in Riverbank, California, a vast network of dairy farms generating renewable natural gas, and systems to capture and sequester carbon emissions.

At the centerpiece is Aemetis’ newly permitted Riverbank SAF refinery, designed to produce a staggering 78 million gallons of the low-carbon fuel annually to meet skyrocketing demand from airlines. The company has already secured over $3 billion worth of SAF supply contracts with major carriers desperate to reduce their environmental footprint and comply with tightening regulations.

“This $200 million of EB-5 funding provides us with attractive low-interest capital to construct our sustainable aviation fuel plant and build out other negative carbon intensity projects like dairy biogas and CO2 sequestration,” said Eric McAfee, CEO of Aemetis. “These investments will be transformative for our company’s growth.”

The EB-5 program, created in 1990, allows foreign investors to obtain U.S. permanent residency through investing substantial funds into domestic projects that create full-time jobs in high unemployment areas or rural regions. Aemetis’ projects qualified by being located at the company’s existing ethanol production facility in Keyes and the new Riverbank plant site, both classified as high unemployment zones by authorities.

In total, 245 foreign investors were approved to participate by providing $800,000 each, joining 8 others who had previously invested $4 million. The $200 million sum represents a considerable capital raise for Aemetis on highly attractive terms, enabling the company to expand its suite of renewable offerings.

In addition to the SAF refinery, funds will go towards building out the company’s dairy renewable natural gas operations across California’s Central Valley. Aemetis plans to construct biodigesters to capture methane from cattle waste at numerous dairy farms, which will then be processed into pipeline-quality renewable natural gas (RNG) as an ultra-low carbon substitute for fossil gas. The funding will cover new gas pipelines, biofuel conversion facilities, and RNG fueling stations to service this rapidly growing market.

A portion of the EB-5 investment is also earmarked for carbon capture and sequestration systems at Aemetis’ biorefineries, furthering efforts to shrink the company’s carbon footprint to negative levels. By safely storing emissions underground, Aemetis aims to produce some of the most environmentally friendly and low carbon-intensity biofuels, bioenergy, and biomaterials in the world.

“The EB-5 funding, combined with our other financing sources like 20-year USDA loans, provide the growth capital for Aemetis to construct large-scale projects in line with our bold Five Year Plan,” McAfee stated. “We deeply appreciate the confidence shown by these investors in our vision for revolutionizing the renewable fuels landscape.”

As global demand for sustainable energy solutions continues rising, the $200 million EB-5 infusion positions Aemetis at the forefront of this transition, paving the way for its pioneering dairy biogas, carbon-negative biofuels, and other low-carbon innovations to scale up rapidly in the coming years.

Take a moment to take a look at Noble Capital Markets’ Senior Research Analyst Michael Heim’s coverage list.

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