Sao Paulo, Brazil [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Shell International Petroleum Company Limited and Cosan S.A. this week signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU), under which the companies plan to form a US $12 billion joint venture (JV) in Brazil for the production of ethanol, sugar and power, and the supply, distribution and retail of transportation fuels.
Under the terms of the MOU, both companies would contribute certain existing Brazilian assets to the JV. Cosan plans to contribute its 60 million tonne per year sugar cane crushing capacity, its 2 billion liters of ethanol production capacity and its seven existing co-gen plants, two under construction and a further three to be built in the next three-to-four years. Shell would contribute various infrastructure assets and a total of $1.625 billion in cash, payable over two years.
With annual production capacity of about 2 billion liters and significant growth aspirations, the JV would be one of the world’s largest ethanol producers. In addition, the inclusion of Shell’s equity interests in Iogen and Codexis would potentially enable the JV to deploy next generation biofuels technologies in the future.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the continued importance of Brazil to Shell. We’re looking forward to joining with a leading company in Brazil to meet the needs of retail and commercial fuels customers in that growing market,” said Mark Williams, Royal Dutch Shell’s downstream director. “We see joining with Cosan as a way to grow the role of low-carbon, sustainable biofuels in the global transportation fuel mix. The joint venture would also enable Shell to set up a material and profitable bio-fuels business, with the potential to deploy next generation technologies.”