Chesapeake fund to invest in two green energy companies

Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s new venture capital fund will start by investing in two green energy companies.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Published: July 11, 2011
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McClendon said further private sector investment in such fueling sites should provide the funding needed for a coast-to-coast and border-to-border build-out of CNG and LNG fueling stations.

Chesapeake also will spend $155 million to buy a 50 percent stake in Colorado-based biofuels company Sundrop Fuels Inc. Chesapeake's investment will be bolstered by $20 million from California-based venture capital firm Oak Investment Partners.

Sundrop is building the largest nonfood biomass-based “green gasoline” plant in the world, one that will be capable for turning natural gas and waste plant materials into more than 40 million gallons of clean gasoline each year.

“We can use any plant material,” Sundrop spokesman Steven Silvers said. “Anything from rice hulls to algae to wood bark.”

The plant is expected to be operational by late 2014. Full-scale commercial plants are expected to be as much as 10 times larger.

“The clean, abundant and affordable qualities of American shale natural gas are well-documented,” McClendon said. With Sundrop Fuels' efficient synthesis gasification process, natural gas becomes the enabling technology for a safer, stronger and greener economy.”