The Korea Herald


SK Inc. invests $50m in US waste-to-fuels company Fulcrum

By Kim Byung-wook

Published : Dec. 16, 2021 - 16:08

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Fulcrum’s household waste-based biofuels refinery in Nevada (SK Inc.) Fulcrum’s household waste-based biofuels refinery in Nevada (SK Inc.)

SK Inc. said Thursday it has joined in on a $50 million investment into Fulcrum BioEnergy, a US-based firm that turns household waste into low-carbon transportation fuels including those for airplanes.

According to the holdings company of South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate SK Group, the investment will allow SK Inc. to make a foray into the Korean bioenergy market. SK Inc. is jointly investing in Fulcrum with a Korean private equity fund and did not disclose the exact amount it has contributed.

SK Inc. aims to combine Fulcrum’s technologies with SK Ecoplant’s waste treatment business. Formerly known as SK Engineering & Construction, SK Ecoplant this year started a waste management business, collecting industrial waste from construction sites and medical waste from SK Group’s bio affiliates and making money by processing them.

Founded in 2007, Fulcrum is the first company in the US to produce biofuel on a commercial scale by chemically converting household waste into transportation fuels. The California-based firm developed a model that can turn organic materials found in trash into low-carbon fuels to be distributed in the same pipelines as traditional petroleum products.

The firm in July completed the construction of the world’s first commercial-scale household waste-based biofuels refinery in Nevada. Starting next year, the Nevada plant is scheduled to produce roughly 11 million gallons of synthetic crude oil annually, which can be upgraded to transportation fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel.