Ciris Energy raises money for coal conversion work

Ciris Energy, which has a coal-conversion plant in the Powder River Basin, said July 26 that it has successfully placed a total of $25m of preferred stock in its Series C offering in two separate transactions.

This new investment in Ciris follows earlier successful capital raises including last year’s follow-on Series B offering led by ConocoPhillips. The Series C investment in Ciris is from a new international investor, Asia Pacific Capital of Hong Kong (APC), which has a track record of investing in developing companies with new technologies applicable to the growing economies of Asia.

The investors in Ciris are a combination of strategic partners such as ConocoPhillips together with venture capital investors Braemar Energy, Energy Technology Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lighthouse Capital Partners, Rho Ventures and Triplepoint Capital.

Ciris says it is a leader in bioconversion of carbon contained in coal utilizing its two proprietary processes; In-situ bioconversion “ISBC” and Ex-situ bioconversion “ESBC”. The company said it is currently operating its first-phase commercial ISBC plant in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and is targeting initiation of a demonstration plant in 2014 for its ESBC process.

Dr. Jay Short, CEO of Ciris, said: “These investments in Ciris represent continued recognition of the opportunity Ciris presents. The technology progress toward commercialization made at the company over the last year is substantial and we are pleased that Asia Pacific Capital and Conoco Phillips recognized the impact that Ciris can have in converting coal-based carbon to cleaner more valued products such as methane and industrial chemicals.”

Ciris, a private company founded in 2007 and headquartered in Centennial, Colo., is focused on enhanced natural gas and chemical production from low rank coals worldwide. The company’s In-situ bioconversion process rejuvenates unproductive coal territories through proprietary technologies that stimulate and optimize natural occurring processes. The complementary Ex-situ bioconversion process converts mined coal into natural gas and chemicals.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.