BP and Verenium Partner To Commercialize Cellulosic Ethanol

Coming at the heels of Verenium’s announcement that it was awarded a DOE grant to help commercialize cellulosic ethanol, last week BP and Verenium announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership in which BP will give Verenium a total of US $90 million in funding over the next 18 months in exchange for the rights to current and future technology held within the newly-formed partnership.

“We believe energy crops like sugar cane, miscanthus and energy cane are the best feedstocks to deliver economic, sustainable and scaleable biofuels to the world. This deal puts us at the front of the cellulosic biofuels game,” said Sue Ellerbusch, president of BP Biofuels North America.

The initial phase of the alliance utilizes Verenium’s advanced technology for cellulosic ethanol production as the platform for a joint development effort between BP and Verenium. The companies have formed a Special Purpose Entity (SPE) that is equally owned by BP and Verenium, will license existing intellectual property from each company and own jointly-developed intellectual property in the field of cellulosic ethanol production. All intellectual property owned prior to the formation of the SPE will be retained by each respective company. Further, the SPE will serve as the licensing entity to enable all cellulosic ethanol production projects.

“In addition to BP’s world-class capabilities in traditional energy production, logistics and distribution, their commitment to accelerate the development of the global biofuels market was a significant factor in our decision to partner with BP, ” said Carlos Riva, president and CEO at Verenium.

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