Zume and Jefferson Enterprise Energy Secure $122M to Build the World’s First 100% Renewable Energy Powered Compostable Packaging Factory

The deal presents an entirely new system to create sustainably powered factories that decarbonize manufacturing operations

LUFKIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jefferson Enterprise Energy and Hilltop Securities today announced the closing of $122M of bond financing. The financing will support Jefferson’s joint venture with Zume, creators of the world’s most advanced molded fiber technology, to build the first sustainable manufacturing factory for consumer goods powered entirely by an onsite renewable energy plant with zero use of fossil fuels in North America.

In support of this initiative, Hilltop Securities and Jefferson closed two financing transactions, the first in the amount of $22M and the second for $100M. The third transaction for an additional $100M is scheduled for 2022 to further develop the complex.

“To fix the unsustainability in the food supply chain, it is important that we design not only for the sustainability of products, but also the way in which we build them,” says Alex Garden, Chairman and CEO of Zume. “This will be a blueprint for the making of an entirely sustainable packaging system and we’re proud to secure this funding to scale our vision.”

Recognizing the need for climate action, Jefferson Enterprise Energy has recommissioned a 55MW biomass power plant that will provide energy for a renewable fiber pulping facility. The powerplant will also provide energy to Zume’s robotic machinery and advanced molded fiber operations that provide global brands with an alternative to single-use plastic.

“Waste plastics are one of the greatest ills to our environment and we must come together to create alternative methods to fix this problem,” says Al Salazar, Founder and CEO, Jefferson Enterprise Energy. “Our partnership and reliance on Zume’s technology is something we are proud to stand behind.”

At the heart of the new green energy and manufacturing facility will be a 400 ton per day pulp mill that will produce high-strength renewable pulp from wood waste and agricultural waste materials. This pulp will power Zume’s manufacturing operations that are producing renewable fiber products designed to meet a variety of CPG products for global brands.

As the first factory of its kind in the world, this success is due in great part to the support of the local and state partners that have provided valuable assistance leading to this success. The Angelina and Neches River Authority under the leadership of Kelly Holcomb along with a visionary board have served as the issuer for $122M in tax exempt financing to date for this project.

“Jefferson Enterprise Energy sets the gold standard for local economic growth by investing in the future of biomass products,” said Mark Hicks, Mayor of Lufkin, Texas. “The plans for their Lufkin project are right in the wheelhouse of our city’s economic development goals. Manufacturing is not about a quick exit strategy but is centered on a long-term valuation creation and Lufkin is the perfect location for this facility.”

The City of Lufkin and Angelina County, TX have stepped up to the plate providing valuable support via tax abatements and community support to assist with this effort. The residents of the regional community will be one of the ultimate beneficiaries of this effort with hundreds of new, well-paid jobs created to support this complex for many years to come. Governor Greg Abbot’s office, with the critical assistance of the Texas Attorney General Public Finance team paved the way for the sale of the Private Activity Bonds to make this vision a reality.

About Zume

Founded in 2015, Zume is actively reducing the world’s plastic waste with economically viable substitutes for plastic packaging. As creators of the world’s most advanced molded-fiber manufacturing system, Zume is a global provider of sustainability solutions and offers a vast range of sustainable manufactured solutions and services across the food, beverage, healthcare, and CPG categories. For more information, go to zume.com and to see a video of how Zume works, go to here:

About Jefferson Enterprise Energy

Jefferson Enterprise Energy, a division of Jefferson Enterprise, is dedicated to preserving natural resources by converting waste into recycled products. Jefferson Enterprise (JE) is an integrated development company focused on the planning, financing and project management of mid to large-scale eco-friendly facilities. JE’s facilities are primarily dedicated to the preservation of natural resources by converting consumer and industrial waste into recycled products.


Ed Germann

Jefferson Enterprise Energy


C.B. “Bix” Rathburn

Director, Investment Banker, Public Finance

Hilltop Securities


Maggie Philbin

VSC for Zume


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