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- 2012 - August - 20th -

Plastic2Oil plant under review at RockTenn mill; butane blending facility in planning for BP terminal

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Plans are under review for two North Jacksonville industrial projects. Ontario-based JBI Inc. is considering construction of a Plastic2Oil production plant to convert waste plastic into fuel oil, according to plans being reviewed by the City.

Meanwhile, the City also is considering six permits for a Sunoco butane blending facility at the BP Jacksonville Terminal at 2101 Zoo Parkway.

Plastic2Oil

The JBI Plastic2Oil plant is shown as a 5-acre project on part of the site of the RockTenn Corp. Seminole containerboard mill, formerly known as Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.

RockTenn is at 9469 Eastport Road, off Heckscher Drive.

The www.plastic2oil.com website describes JBI as “an innovative North American fuel company that transforms unsorted, unwashed waste plastic into ultra-clean, ultra-low sulphur fuel without the need for refinement.”

According to the website, JBI and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., which RockTenn acquired last year, entered into an agreement in April 2011 and the company made its first fuel sale.

In July 2011, JBI reported it entered into a 10-year referral and revenue-sharing agreement with RockTenn to convert product waste into fuel using the P2O technology.

Smurfit-Stone has been a well-known name in the area.

In June 2010, Chicago-based Smurfit-Stone, with operations in Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after restructuring its debts during a recession that weakened demand for packaging.

RockTenn and Smurfit-Stone announced a merger agreement in January 2011 and shareholders approved it in May 2011. Smurfit-Stone became a wholly owned subsidiary of RockTenn.

JBI management declined to comment about the Plastic2Oil project. A spokeswoman said she would be in touch at a later date.

Robin Keegan, RockTenn director of corporate communications, said the company had no comment.

“We are not in the position to discuss the deal at this point,” Keegan said.

The Jacksonville mill engineer also declined to comment.

The JBI website reports that JBI’s patent-pending Plastic2Oil process “is a commercially viable, proprietary process designed to provide immediate economic benefit for industry, communities and government organizations with waste plastic recycling challenges.”

It says JBI is “committed to environmental sustainability by diverting plastic waste from landfill and potential incineration.”

Preliminary site plans show a 9,360-square-foot module production pad with adjacent space for truck unloading; a 1,170-square-foot storage tank concrete area; a 900-square-foot fuel truck loading area; a cooling tower; and a 720-square-foot quality control testing laboratory trailer.

The plans show conveyors, “premelts,”reactors, and towers and condensers.

The website reports that JBI President and CEO Kevin Rauber was previously vice president and general manager of RockTenn, which makes corrugated and container packaging. RockTenn is based in Norcross, Ga., and operates more than 240 facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Chile.

JBI Inc. is based in Ontario, Canada, and maintains a facility in Niagara Falls, N.Y., according to the company.

According to the website, the company founder is John Bordynuik, who serves as chief of technology. JBI began developing the technology in 2009 and said the processor was scaled from a desktop model to a 1-ton and then a 20-ton commercial unit in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The company said that during the first quarter of 2011, additions and modifications were made to the processor and that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued all the permits necessary to operate its P2O processors in Niagara Falls.

Site plans show the Eastport Road project owner as JBI Inc. of Thorold, Ontario, Canada, and lists Bordynuik as the CEO.

Technical Associates is listed as the civil, structural and mechanical engineer, while Janet Whitmill is named as the landscape architect.

However, JBI, Bordynuik and a former employee, Ronald Baldwin Jr. of Palm Harbor, are defendants in a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint filed Jan. 4.

In a 28-page complaint, the SEC charges that the defendants engaged in a scheme to commit securities and accounting fraud by stating “materially false and inaccurate financial information on the financial statements of JBI Inc.” for two reporting periods in 2009.

The commission states that they misrepresented and overstated the actual value of JBI’s assets and of the company itself by almost 1,000 percent and used the overvalued financial statements in two private capital raising efforts “that raised more than $8.4 million from unwitting investors.”

It said Baldwin has been a licensed CPA in Florida since 1996 and an attorney and member of The Florida Bar since 2001.It said he was appointed CFO of JBI on Jan. 1, 2010, and resigned March 28, 2011.

JBI issued a news release Jan. 4 responding to the complaint, saying it was “profoundly disappointed by the erroneous allegations of fraud contained in the civil lawsuit” filed by the SEC.

“The Company regrets that its attempts to negotiate settlement of this dispute failed, and, in consultation with its litigation counsel and Board of Directors, looks forward to vigorously defending itself in court, where the Company believes it will prevail on the merits.”

JBI said the allegations “concern legacy accounting issues that have since been corrected. Among other things, since restating its financial statements, the Company has hired a new chief financial officer and engaged additional experienced accounting staff as well as a reputable independent audit firm.”

After the SEC complaint was filed, Bordynuik told the Welland Tribune in Ontario that in 2009 JBI was “a very small company and we had an accounting department of one.”

He said the SEC’s issue concerned “a single item on a 2009 accounting statement. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a judge that would kill this for that.”

SEC Regional Trial Counsel Martin Healey said Friday by email that the commission filed a civil injunction against JBI and two individuals in January in federal court in Boston, “and it is still pending in that court.”

Citing SEC policy, Healey said the commission does not comment on pending matters beyond the public record.

JBI spokeswoman Kristin Robbins said the company had no comment. “The company does not comment on unresolved legal matters,” she said in an email.

In May, JBI announced a $10 million investment in equity capital, a successful review of its technology by SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure LLC, Bordynuik’s transition to become chief of technology and Rauber’s decision to join as CEO and president.

It also announced “transition of governance practices consistent with other leading companies.”

JBI said the equity capital was from an investment group of private equity investors, venture capitalists, investment bankers and corporate executives.

SAIC is a private consultant for scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services.

“The timeliness of this financing is ideal,” said the company’s CFO, Matthew Ingham, in the May announcement.

“We now have the capital resources to accelerate the commercial roll-out of our P2O processers at our Niagara Falls plant and the initial RockTenn sites, endeavoring to achieve our near-term goal of becoming cash-flow positive,” he said in a statement.

Sunoco

Sunoco Logistics is working on plans to build a butane blending facility at the BP terminal. The City is reviewing six permits with project costs totaling $1.22 million.

Plans show foundations, modular buildings, pipes and supports, a tank and other equipment.

Sunoco Logistics Project Manager Paul Raetz said the company will build it and run it with BP. It will be monitored from Sunoco’s office in Sugar Land, Texas, he said.

Raetz, who is based in Reading, Pa., said the process involves injecting butane into the gasoline from Sept. 16-April 30 to meet environmental standards. Those are the coolest months of the year, he said.

He said BP requested Sunoco to build the facility. He did not have the investment amount.

Raetz said construction was expected to start around the beginning of September and be completed by the end of the year.

The largest of the permits, valued at $732,931, is for the LP tank installation, a pump, an offload station, foundations and skids, pipe supports and other piping, barriers and fencing.

Another permit, at $390,591, shows foundation installation and more pipes and supports.

The four remaining permits, with project costs of $19,344 to $31,102, are for more foundations, modular buildings and processing equipment.

The permits show Milton J. Wood Co. as the contractor and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP as the developer.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

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