BP, Verenium start biofuels joint venture

BP has launched a joint venture company with Verenium to establish a cellulosic ethanol plant in Highlands County, Fla., by 2012.

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, Feb. 19 -- BP PLC has launched a new joint venture company with Verenium Corp., Cambridge, Mass., to establish a cellulosic ethanol plant in Highlands County, Fla., by 2012.

The plant is expected to have a capacity of 36 million gal/year, and its cost is estimated at $250-300 million. The joint venture firm hopes to break ground in 2010, with production slated to start in 2012.

"With plans to add additional capacity, the joint venture company also intends to develop a second site in the Gulf Coast region," the companies reported.

Together, the two companies committed $45 million total in funding and assets for the 50:50 venture. BP plans to provide $22.5 million, and Verenium plans to provide development assets.

The companies partnered last August to work on developing the cellulosic ethanol technology from nonfood stocks.

Carlos A. Riva, president and chief executive officer of Verenium, said, "The creation of this joint venture brings together innovative and experienced developers, designers, engineers, operators, and managers capable of realizing the potential of this technology."

The new company's headquarters will be in Cambridge, Mass. Personnel will be comprised of staff from both BP and Verenium, and the company will be governed by a board having equal representation from each.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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