QualificationsFrom Concept to Commercial Operation
Mark Warner is a leader in advanced biotechnology commercialization having held senior leadership positions at Impossible Foods, Solazyme, Harris Group and Imperium Renewables, in addition to providing consulting support to over 30 early-stage biotechnology ventures. His experience in taking biologic processes from concept to commercial production is unmatched in the industry.
Major Project Experience
Program Manager and Executive in Charge, Solazyme Moema Facility. Led process development, detailed design, construction and startup of $150 million greenfield biotechnology facility in rural Brazil. Project based on Solazyme’s novel tailored oil technology that was scaled from bench-top to commercial scale. Active in securing permits, project financing and formation of joint venture organization. Facility was completed and operational within 24 months of board approval, roughly half the time of facilities built by major competitors.
Program Manager and Executive in Charge, Peoria Facility Retrofit, Solazyme. Responsible for $16 million retrofit of company owned facility in Peoria, Illinois under US DOE funded grant, serving as principal investigator. Facility was built as demonstration plant for Solazyme’s technology and used to scale to commercial operations. Follow-on project involved conversion of facility to produce food products within 90 days following the unexpected dissolution of a joint venture with Roquette.
Program Manager, ADM Partnership and facility upgrade. Led due diligence efforts to form contract manufacturing arrangement with ADM in Clinton, Iowa. Project expanded to include second facility in Galva, Iowa for downstream conversion. This hybrid contract manufacturing operation was very capital efficient and only involved $10 million of combined upgrades and was operational within 6 months.
Program Manager and Principal in Charge, Sapphire Energy. Led process development and detailed design effort for algae to biofuels demonstration scale integrated algal biofuels refinery. Engineer and integrator for $135 million integrated algal biorefinery (IABR) project in Columbus, New Mexico. Work included early process development of conversion technology, design and deployment of pilot demonstration unit and detailed design of IABR facility. Assisted in development of DOE grant and USDA loan guarantee applications that secured over 105 million dollars of federal funding.
Principal in Charge and Permitting Lead, Coskata Energy. Responsible for overall project development and permitting for Coskata’s 350 million dollar flagship cellulosic ethanol facility – the largest cellulosic ethanol project in development in the United States. Technology includes gasification, fermentation and ethanol recovery. Developed successful EPC team that was selected by Coskata for execution of the project.
Program Manager, Imperium Renewables, Grays Harbor, Washington. Responsible for site selection, permitting, engineering, construction and start-up of an 85 million dollar emerging technology biodiesel facility. Plant is the largest biodiesel production facility constructed in the US; permitted, designed and constructed in 14 months. Facility was operational in 2007 and has maintained positive cash flow throughout the economic downturn. Plant was based on new second-generation technology, successfully scaled from 5 million gallon per year batch demonstration plant to 100 million gallon per year continuous commercial facility. Project successfully completed a bank mandated seven day performance test. Successfully negotiated project finance and credit facility.
Project Manager, New Planet Energy/INEOS Bio. Responsible for site selection, process development, capital cost estimation and preliminary engineering for 160 million dollar syngas-fermentation based cellulosic ethanol process. Assisted in preparation of documents for successful DOE grant and USDA loan guarantee applications. Conducted site evaluation of Vero Beach, Florida site that currently has project under construction.
Aviation Biofuels Project, Imperium Renewables/Virgin Atlantic. Managed engineering team that developed aviation biofuels process and retrofit existing pilot plant facility to generate aviation biofuel that was used in first commercial flight test by Virgin Atlantic in February of 2008.
Program Manager, Imperium Renewables, Kapolei, Hawaii. Responsible for site selection, permitting and engineering for 105 million dollar production facility. Successfully received all major pre-construction permits and completed sufficient engineering. Dealt directly with Governors office, chief of staff and agency director level during process. Project was in the process of breaking ground in 2007 when the global finance downturn blocked financial close. Significant effort was spent during the development phase to modularized the facility design to allow fabrication on the mainland and shipment to Hawaii to overcome local labor constraints.
Leveraging a History of Success
The value proposition offered by Warner Advisors is the unmatched track record of success in taking technologies from the lab to commercial scale. Having worked for four companies who have held the #1 spot in biofuels digest’s top company list, combined with nearly 10 years and over 500 million dollars spent commercializing emerging biotechnology processes, we provide a unique and valuable perspective. This comes both in the form of traditional consulting and also as a drop-in head of engineering during the commercialization phase.
- Seasoned executive with broad experience in all aspects of facility site selection, project development, permitting, process development, scale up, equipment selection, detailed design, cost estimating, construction supervision, commissioning, performance testing and facility operation.
- Experience in DOE grants, USDA loans, debt financing, proforma and techno-economic model development, EPC contracting and due diligence.
- Significant experience in a range of technologies including gasification, fermentation, hydrothermal treatment, transesterification, novel foods, distillation, extraction, algal conversion, wastewater treatment, protein fractionation and aviation biofuel production.
- Successful record of fast track project delivery of new and innovative technologies to commercial scale.
Experienced in fast-paced startup and emerging technology environments.