ASHLEY - California-based Brightmark Energy has closed on $260 million in financing for what it says will be the first commercial-scale plastics-to-fuel plant in the nation. Located in the northeast Indiana town of Ashley, the facility is expected to create 136 jobs when it is fully operational.

Plans for the facility have been in place since 2015, when Ohio-based RES Polyflow LLC announced the effort. Brightmark Energy acquired a majority interest in RES Polyflow in November and said at that time it would commit $47 million to the facility. Brightmark says, as a result of the financing closure, it has now become the controlling owner of RES Polyflow. 

Brightmark says the facility will initially convert about 100,000 tons of plastics into more than 18 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel and naptha blend stocks, as well as nearly six million gallons of commercial grade wax annually. The process used by RES Polyflow can recycle waste including items that typically cannot be readily recycled, such as plastic film, flexible packaging, styrofoam and children's toys.

"We are excited about the market’s confidence in the validity of this technology to economically convert single-use plastics for new uses," said Bob Powell, chief executive officer of Brightmark Energy and RES Polyflow. "This technology provides a strong incentive for diverting single use plastics away from oceans, waterways, communities and landfills by creating reusable value. Plastic pollution is such a pressing global issue, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to provide a solution."

Brightmark says BP will purchase the fuels produced by the facility and AM WAX will purchase the commercial grade waxes that are produced. Officials expect to break ground on the facility next month.