BP plc (NYSE: BP) took steps today to become the second largest next-generation biofuels producer in the United States by acquiring the cellulosic biofuel business of Verenium Corporation (NASDAQ: VRNM).
BP and Verenium announced today that BP Biofuels North America will pay US$98.3 million for Verenium facilities in Jennings, Louisiana, and San Diego, California; as well as Verenium’s 50 percent share of the BP-Verenium joint venture, called Vercipia, which is planning to build a 36-million-gallon-per-year commercial cellulosic biofuel plant in Highlands County, Florida.
The plant is scheduled to begin production in 2012 with cellulose feedstock from cane forage and sorghum grown on 35,000 total acres, including 20,000 acres of farmable land.
Verenium will retain its commercial enzyme business, including its biofuels enzymes products and have the right to develop its own lignocellulosic enzyme program. Verenium will also retain select R&D capabilities, as well as rights to access select biofuels technology developed by BP using the technology it is acquiring from Verenium through this agreement.
The largest next-generation biofuels plant in the U.S. will begin producing 75 million gallons a year at Geismar, Lousiana over the next several weeks. The plant is a 50-50 project between Syntroleum Corporation (NASDAQ: SYNM) and Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN).
DISCLOSURE: The writer has no positions in, or professional connections with, these companies.
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