Virgin Group and NTR Form Ethanol Joint Venture; Initial $336 Million Investment in US
16 January 2007
Bioverda (the bio-energy division of NTR plc), along with Virgin Fuels, through VBV, also announced an initial investment of US$336 million (€260 million) in two 100 million gallon corn ethanol plants, one in Indiana (Indiana Bioenergy LLC), the other in Tennessee (Ethanol Grain Processors LLC). Fagen Inc. will build both plants, which are expected to be completed in the first half of 2008.
VBV LLC has already identified a number of additional projects for development in 2007/08. The Virgin Bioverda partnership intends to look for additional biofuel opportunities in North America and Europe.
In September 2006, Virgin Group announced it would invest up to $400 million in renewable energy projects through the Virgin Fuels subsidiary. Virgin Fuels’ first investment was $60 million in Cilion, a new joint venture between Western Milling, California’s largest grain milling company, and Khosla Ventures, a venture assistance and venture capital firm led by Vinod Khosla. (Earlier post.) The push into biofuels is part of a larger $3 billion pledge to tackle greenhouse gas emissions that Branson announced at the Clinton Global Initiative conference last year. (Earlier post.)
The tremendous potential for this partnership should be seen in the context of both organizations’ commitment to the commercial development of renewable energy and to the recent announcement by Sir Richard Branson, on behalf of Virgin, to invest up to $3 billion over the next 10 years to combat global warming and NTR’s recently announced corporate strategy to invest up to €3 billion in renewable energy over the next 5 years.—Jim Barry, Chief Executive of NTR plc
Bioverda is a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary of NTR plc established to develop, own and operate sustainable bio-energy businesses focusing on methane (landfill gas and coal mine methane); biogas (large scale anaerobic digestion); and biofuel (biodiesel and bioethanol).
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