Newlight Technologies, Inc. and Long Ridge Energy Terminal, which is jointly owned by a subsidiary of Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC and an affiliate managed by GCM Grosvenor, announced that the parties and their related entities have entered into various agreements providing for the construction and operation of a new facility in Ohio, Aircarbon-Ohio, to produce Aircarbon, a naturally-occurring molecule called PHB that replaces plastic but is carbon-negative and biologically degrades in natural environments.
“Plastic pollution and climate change are the critical environmental challenges of our time, but in order to solve those challenges, we need to find a scalable middle ground of performance and sustainability,” said Newlight CEO Mark Herrema. “Through Aircarbon-Ohio, our aim is to establish one of the largest carbon capture manufacturing hubs in the world, showing that we can harness greenhouse gas as a resource to help improve the environment while creating long-term jobs and economic value.”
Newlight uses a nature-based technology that is found in ecosystems throughout the world, including in the ocean, wherein naturally-occurring microorganisms consume air and greenhouse gas through fermentation to produce a muscle-like material inside of their cells called PHB. PHB is an energy storage material made in most living organisms, from marine microorganisms to the roots of plants and the human body, and can be melted into shapes as a replacement for plastic. Founded in 2003, Newlight is the first company to directly transform greenhouse gases into PHB, a biomaterial that the company calls Aircarbon, at commercial scale.
AirCarbon competes on performance with various grades of polypropylene, the second largest-volume plastic in the world. With a variety of potential industries to serve, Newlight’s primary focus is on addressing ocean plastic pollution by displacing plastic in the foodware market, starting with straws, cutlery, and coated paper products. In addition to foodware, Newlight is also seeding expansion in automotive and fashion applications. Newlight launched its first commercial-scale Aircarbon production facility in 2020, and today Newlight’s customers and partners include Shake Shack, Nike, Target, H&M, Ben & Jerry’s, Sumitomo, US Foods, and Sysco, with millions of Aircarbon units delivered to consumers to date.
Long Ridge and certain of its subsidiaries entered into certain agreements with Newlight, whereby Long Ridge will lease land and sell power and gas to Newlight. In addition, a subsidiary of FTAI has agreed to invest 25% of the project costs, or up to $75 million, subject to certain conditions, to participate in the economic returns associated with the project.
Through a separate agreement between Newlight and Pittsburgh-based CNX Resources Corp., CNX will gather and process captured methane from third party industrial activity that would typically be vented to atmosphere and deliver to Newlight the environmental rights associated with that methane, sourced locally from the Appalachian basin, to support production of Aircarbon at the Ohio facility, similar to how solar and wind is delivered contractually through new and existing grid infrastructure.
Newlight is a nature-inspired biotechnology company converting air and greenhouse gas into a biomaterial called Aircarbon®. Aircarbon is a high-performance, carbon-negative PHB biomaterial produced by naturally-occurring microorganisms that is being used to replace plastic in industrial segments ranging from foodware to fashion. Newlight’s mission is to help end plastic pollution and climate change by replacing plastic with Aircarbon, creating global-scale economic and environmental value. For more information about Newlight and Aircarbon, visit www.aircarbon.com.
About Long Ridge Energy Terminal
The Long Ridge Energy Terminal, located in Hannibal, Ohio, commissioned a state-of-the-art 485MW power plant in October 2021, the first GE H-class plant worldwide to blend hydrogen into its fuel mix. Long Ridge is focused on delivering low-carbon, reliable, and cost-effective energy to its customers. The site’s attributes include nearly 300 acres of flat land, two barge docks on the Ohio River, a unit-train-capable loop track and direct access to Ohio Route 7. Long Ridge is jointly owned by a subsidiary of Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC, which trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker FTAI, and an affiliate managed by Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P., which trades on the NASDAQ Exchange under the ticker GCMG.
About Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC
Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC owns and acquires high quality infrastructure and equipment that is essential for the transportation of goods and people globally. FTAI targets assets that, on a combined basis, generate strong and stable cash flows with the potential for earnings growth and asset appreciation. FTAI is externally managed by an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, a leading, diversified global investment firm.
About GCM Grosvenor
GCM Grosvenor (Nasdaq: GCMG) is a global alternative asset management solutions provider with approximately $71 billion in assets under management across private equity, infrastructure, real estate, credit, and absolute return investment strategies. The firm has specialized in alternatives for more than 50 years and its experienced team of over 520 professionals serves a global client base of institutional and high net worth investors. The firm is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in New York, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul.
GCM Grosvenor’s Labor Impact Strategy seeks to originate and execute infrastructure projects that leverage the inclusion of union labor as a contributing factor to enabling attractive risk-adjusted returns. The goal of the strategy is to find attractive infrastructure investment opportunities that can be unlocked through close cooperation across labor, government, and private capital.