Sunday, December 10, 2006

Seattle Times Article on Imperium

Good article by Luke Timmerman at The Seattle Times regarding Imperium and the importance of biodiesel being able to compete on price.

One of my favorite quotes from John Plaza "You have to be competitive on a cost basis, not just for the environmental or social play," said Plaza. "Otherwise, this would never grow the way we want it to grow."

And Luke was kind enough to quote me . . .

Eric Bowen, an energy expert with Sigma Capital in San Francisco, said that among the 100 biodiesel business plans he's reviewed there are three types of companies: agribusiness giants like Archer Daniels Midland with lots of cash and talent; old hippies working on small projects that will mostly fail; and a new breed of "pure-play" venture-backed companies focused on making large volumes of biodiesel.

Imperium, he said, is in the third camp. Bowen said he's not sure the company has "a secret sauce" for success, but Chief Executive Martin Tobias, who took Seattle-based Loudeye public in the dot-com heyday, has to be taken seriously.

"Whether these guys are riding a bubble of biodiesel or building a business for the long term is a fair and open question," Bowen said. "But Martin and his team certainly know what they are doing."

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