BP outlines investment plans for cellulosic ethanol

BP PLC announced plans to invest $90 million in Verenium Corp. to accelerate the development and commercialization of cellulosic ethanol.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 7 -- BP PLC announced plans to invest $90 million in Verenium Corp. to accelerate the development and commercialization of cellulosic ethanol.

Verenium of Cambridge, Mass., is scheduled to receive the investment from BP over the next 18 months for rights to current and future technology held within the partnership.

Sue Ellerbush, president of BP Biofuels North America, said Verenium already has demonstrated an advanced technology for cellulosic ethanol production. Verenium recently opened a demonstration plant in Jennings, La.

BP and Verenium formed a Special Purpose Entity (SPE) equally owned by the two. The SPE will serve as the licensing entity for cellulosic ethanol production.

Beyond the initial phase of this alliance, the companies expect to later form a joint venture. While the JV primarily will focus on US plants, the SPE technologies might be licensable to third-party commercial projects.

Cellulosic ethanol is derived from sugarcane waste, switchgrass, rice straw, and wood chips.

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