Koch Industries' Energy Transformation work includes $1.7B in renewables, CHP, Emissions reduction

Jan. 24, 2022
Koch company Flint Hills Resources invested $120 million in a CHP system at its Pine Bend refinery in Minnesota

The nation’s largest privately held manufacturing, property and energy firm is highlighting its ten-digit financial commitment to the C&I Energy Transition with some $1.7 billion worth of investments in electric battery, cogeneration, energy storage and solar power infrastructure. 

A recent news release by Koch Industries touted its relatively recent Koch Strategic Platforms (KSP) unit as focusing more than a third of total investment on energy transformation technologies. In addition, many of the company’s more intensive businesses are adopting new energy efficiency and decarbonization tools in both manufacturing and combined heat and power (CHP) generation.

Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries has been ranked by Forbes and others as the biggest privately held firm nationally with more than $100 billion in annual revenues. The Koch family owns companies and interests in the materials manufacturing, real estate, oil and gas, transportation infrastructure and much more.

“By helping these companies efficiently grow through investment and capability support, we are helping to make a broad array of energy sources, both traditional and new, more accessible to consumers,” said Jeremy Bezdek, KSP’s managing director of energy transformation. “By investing in areas such as the battery value chain and solar, we are investing in ways that will help bring costs down.”

Koch company Flint Hills Resources invested $120 million in a CHP system at its Pine Bend refinery in Minnesota. The cogeneration facility delivers both electricity and heat for plant purposes.

In 2019, FHR announced completion of the cogeneration power plant amidst a total of close to $400 million in emissions reduction projects. Prior to the connected CHP project, FHR’s Pine Bend received its power from the grid.

FHR also spent another $125 million on technology to convert ammonia and sulfur into fertilizer, thus also improving energy efficiencies, according to the Koch news release.

At INVISTA, a Koch company which produces materials such as a form of nylon used in vehicles to reduce weight and improve battery efficiency in electric vehicles, invested more than $2 billion to deploy an advanced production technology using less energy and eliminating most benzene from the production process, according to the report.

Benzene emissions can cause health issues, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

(Rod Walton is senior editor for EnergyTech and a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry from oil and gas to renewables. He can be reached at [email protected]).

About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.