Shell trims cellulosic ethanol venture

By OGJ editors

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is withdrawing from plans to build a cellulosic ethanol plant in Canada through Iogen Energy, which it jointly owns with Iogen Corp. of Ottawa.

It said a “refocusing” of Iogen Energy’s strategy will result in a diminished development program and 150 layoffs.

“Shell continues to explore multiple pathways to find a commercial solution for the production of advanced biofuels on an industrial scale, but the company will not pursue the project it has had under development to build a larger scale cellulosic ethanol facility in southern Manitoba,” the oil company said.

Iogen Corp. plans to expand its services with “new technology for the production of advanced and cellulosic biofuels,” Shell said.

At one of its service stations in Ottawa, Shell briefly sold gasoline containing cellulosic ethanol made from wheat straw at an Iogen Energy demonstration plant in the same city (OGJ Online, June 10, 2009).

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