Red Rock Biofuels

Town Mgr. Michele Parry said that during a recent conversation with Red Rock’s CFO she was told that the company is resuming work in Lakeview, but simply with a small crew winterizing the site.

After multiple delays over multiple years, Perry said she was told Red Rock is now engaged in engineering updates to bring a second product to life which is requiring more engineering. As Red Rock is meant to turn woody biomass into biofuel and there was so much timber devastation due to wildfires last year, Parry said Red Rock is working to create a secondary product.

“Red Rock and I agreed that any realistic or substantial work would not begin until spring/summer 2023,” Parry stated in an email to the Examiner, noting that engineering could take longer and Lakeview has a very short work season. She said Red Rock is in the midst of raising additional capital. Parry also noted that Red Rock is current with all of its payments to the Town of Lakeview.

The project has been delayed numerous times for various reasons, which has not helped the public’s confidence.

In early 2021, Red Rock’s then logistics manager reported to the Lakeview Rotary club that redesigns of the facility’s equipment would ultimately help increase biofuel output by 15%. He said those redesigns helped to contribute to some of the funding issues as they delayed construction completion.

The project was also impacted when a Texas-based company that was under contract to build skids to mount the plant filed for bankruptcy and who never delivered any of the products on order.

COVID in early 2020 also impacted the construction timeline; the early restrictions led to work slowing down as the number of people allowed on the job site was limited and physical distancing rules had to be followed. COVID’s impacts on suppliers and shippers led to further delays, as construction workers had to wait for pieces of equipment.

Red Rock Biofuels opened a training facility in early 2020, before the COVID restrictions, and were in the process of training employees who would work at the facility once construction was finished. During the COVID shutdown the employees had to train virtually.

In late 2020, Red Rock approached the Port of Morrow about using some of the Port’s special activity bonds and other bond money the Port had access to in order to help complete the project. Initially, the Port of Morrow Board of Directors had approved the project using the special activity bonds. The Port said that it had to use the special activity bonds or they would revert back to the State of Oregon.

A couple of months later, just days before construction stopped at the Red Rock facility, the Port of Morrow Board of Directors reversed its decision and awarded the special activity bonds to a project proposed at the Port. This cut off a lifeline of funds to complete construction.

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