Terry Kulesa can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, but he can make a pretty fair jet fuel out of pine needles and sawdust.
And Kulesa's company, Fort Collins-based Red Rock Biofuels, is a step closer to doing that as it announced Tuesday a partnership with Flagship Ventures to build a $200 million refinery in Oregon.
Flagship, based in Cambridge, Mass., is a venture-capital firm managing a $900 million portfolio.
"These are the guys who are going to help us get over the finish line," said Kulesa, Red Rock's CEO and co-founder.
In September, Red Rock received a $70 million federal grant to build the Lakeview, Ore., refinery. Flagship will add capital and investors, Kulesa said.
"Their product saves money for customers and offers a stable alternative to the volatile crude oil market, while reducing carbon emissions — a growing priority for companies," Brian Baynes, a Flagship partner, said in a statement.