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Numbitrax buys Blume’s first African bioethanol refinery

Blume Distillation, a biorefinery systems provider for bioethanol production, has announced the sale of its first Africa-based biorefinery.

The Blume biorefinery system has been purchased by Numbitrax, based in Touwsriver, Western Cape, South Africa, which has completed a purchase agreement and fund transfer.

The purchase represents an investment worth several million euros for Numbitrax, which plans to produce bioethanol as well as additional high-return offtake products derived from local and readily available resources.

The project is funded by Numbitrax and its local investment partners and will feature Blume’s AgTech solutions, including regenerative agriculture methodologies to help produce low-cost, near-zero emission alcohol fuel from diverse waste, wild-harvest, and cultivated carbohydrate-rich feedstocks.

According to Numbitrax CEO Thomas Gough, the sale opens unique opportunities for Numbitrax to use Blume’s technology to produce renewable drop-in fuel for farming equipment, energy, and transportation needs in the Western Cape Region.

‘We are designing and building a world-class facility that will be a powerful economic engine for our enterprises and will serve as a showcase for how we can make much better use of the resources (waste and cultivated) we have throughout our area,” Gough comments.

David Blume, CEO of Blume Distillation, says the sale gives Blume an important opportunity to introduce clean alcohol-fueled cooking resources to the area to stop deforestation.

‘The Numbitrax project calls on Blume Distillation’s expertise in AgTech, energy development, advanced water management, soil and habitat restoration.

Working with Mr. Gough and the Numbitrax team, we will be implementing programs to support community energy independence and to provide advanced Ag methods for producing food, fuel and soil amendments. In addition to fuel, our systems produce natural fertilizer that will help restore native habitat and increase farmland productivity,’ Mr. Blume says.

Blume Distillation’s current commercial systems produce from 500,000 to 10 million gallons of bioethanol or alcohol-based products per year.

Blume vice president Tom Harvey says grid electricity in the Western Cape region may cost up to $1 a kilowatt, which highlights the area’s need for better and renewable energy alternatives.

‘We are able to meet those needs with a variety of solutions that are driven by our processes and offtakes. We provide customized appropriate-scale solutions that leverage our proprietary equipment and processes to repurpose surplus and underutilized carbohydrate, starch and sugar-rich resources, often considered waste.

‘We are able to cost-effectively and sustainably transform these feedstock resources into high-return competitively priced alcohol-based end- and co-products,’ Mr. Harvey explains.