Enterprise Zone Loan Guaranty Supports Biofuel Stations
(11/18/2011) - Two young entrepreneurs, Colin Huwyler and David Rosenstraus,came to Braddock in 2007 with the innovative idea to combine household and industrial waste grease into biofuel for modified diesel engines. They formed Fossil Free Fuel, LLC and began working to commercialize leading-edge fuel production technologies such as fuel grade recycled edible oils.
In 2009 the EZCB provided loan financing to help the company grow bringing economic activity and jobs to a vacant building on Braddock Avenue.
In 2008 Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities (PRCC)received a funding commitment from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP)Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant Program (AFIG). The funding is to deploy above ground unmanned fueling stations to dispense biofuel. PRCC determined it could not successfully implement the project and turned to Fossil Free Fuel. The company saw this as a tremendous opportunity for distribution of Fossil Free Fuel's biofuel. As a result, DEP permitted the funding commitment to be transferred to Fossil Free Fuel.
An inhibiting factor for Fossil Free Fuel's ability to deploy the fueling stations was the initial capital required to "bridge" DEP's reimbursement. Each site's cost is approximately $100,000 for equipment and installation. Fossil Free Fuel approached the EZCB for assistance and ultimately EZCB provided a loan guaranty of $118,000 to a loan from Enterprise Bank.
Fossil Free Fuel successfully completed the installation of two stations - one at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in Duquesne and the second at a Union Railroad of Pittsburgh-owned site on Pittsburgh's South Side.
According to EZCB President William Pfoff, "We creatively used Enterprise Zone resources to bring State resources to the region, helped an Enterprise Zone business grow and make an environmentally-friendly project take place".
New Fossil Free Fuel Chief Executive Officer Asa Watten said "Without the Enterprise Zone's participation we would not have been able to secure the bridge loan to install the biofuel stations. We are in receipt of additional state funding and plan to install two additional stations - one of them on Braddock Avenue in Braddock".
Fossil Free Fuel is currently in the design phase for the two new fueling stations that are expected to be in operation in 2012. For more information on Fossil Free Fuel, go to www.fossilfreefuel.com