Ze-gen Energized by Middle East Conglomerate in $20M Series B

Ze-gen has tapped a new investor in the Middle East to help raise $20 million in a Series B round of financing, looking to use the capital to commercialize its method of converting solid waste into gas for power plants.

The Boston-based company’s new investor, Waroz Holding Company (a unit of Oman-based industrial conglomerate Omar Zawawi Establishment, or the Omzest Group), led the financing, joined by return backers Flagship Ventures, VantagePoint Venture Partners, and Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation, according to a company press release. Waroz Holding has secured a seat on Ze-gen’s board of directors as part of the financing.

Ze-gen—which has now raised more than $30 million in equity and debt financings—says it plans to begin operating commercial facilities in the U.S. by 2012. The company says that the U.S. sends about 300 million tons of solid waste to landfills every year, and much of that trash could be sent to its proposed regional facilities to be converted into a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas to run turbines at electric power stations.

Wade has been following Ze-gen since he visited the firm’s pilot facility in New Bedford, MA, in summer 2007, and more recently he has been following the company’s heated patent dispute with Quantum Catalytics over whether Ze-gen’s waste-to-energy technology overlaps with patents originally obtained by MIT spinoff Molten Metal Technologies and now allegedly controlled by Fall River, MA-based Quantum.

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