Imperium: Roaring Back

Source:  John Cook, Geekwire, August 10, 2011.  Remember the story of Imperium Renewables?  The Seattle company once held so much promise for the region’s clean tech industry, raising tens of millions of dollars, attracting politicians to its production facilities and even filing for an initial public offering in 2007.

But then the economic swoon hit, and Imperium collapsed.  It cut staff, lost contracts and shut down biodiesel production at its main facility in Grays Harbor County.

But the company managed to stay afloat.

Today, Jacob Jones of The Daily World in Aberdeen reports that Imperium — now led by founder John Plaza — is on the comeback trail as it exports canola-based biodiesel to Canada and Oregon.  “We’re feeling pretty bullish looking at the future,” says Plaza, noting that the company’s flagship facility in Grays Harbor now employs 42 people who work around the clock.

Founded in 2004, Imperium opened its massive 100 million gallon facility in Grays Harbor County in 2007.  The company had raised about $155 million before the economic recession, and noted in its IPO filing that it had intentions to become the leading producer of biodiesel in the country.

Looks like that dream is still alive.