Kior Q3 net losses widen as its first commercial refinery nears completion

Renewable fuels company Kior Inc. said costs from constructing its first commercial facility in Columbus, Mississippi have continued to pull down profits, leading to bigger net losses in the third quarter of this year.

Kior, a company backed by billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, reported a net loss of $14.8 million, or $0.15 per share compared to $10.6 million, or $0.13 per share, it had in the same quarter a year earlier

Fred Cannon, Kior’s president, pointed out that they have already completed 40 percent of the Columbus plant, designed to process 500 tons of feedstock a day into a renewable crude oil which can be converted into substitutes for gasoline and diesel fuel at 67 gallons per ton.

Research and development activities also contributed to lost profit, growing to $8.3 million in from $6.5 million in 2010. General and administrative expenses followed, increasing to $5.9 million from $2.8 million a year earlier.

«The Columbus plant is on track and, as previously communicated, we expect Columbus to commence production during the second half of 2012,» Mr. Cannon said.

«We are focused on completing the construction and commissioning of our Columbus facility, investing in R&D and laying the groundwork for our next commercial production facility in Newton, Mississippi, including securing necessary financing,» he added.

Kior is planning to have a production capacity of approximately 250 million gallons of biofuel from four large biorefineries, including two Mississippi plants plus sites planned in Georgia and Texas. The Newton facility is designed to process around 1,500 tons of feedstock per day, which is three times the size of the Columbus plant, and has already started construction during the first quarter.

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