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Verenium and BP Invited to Begin Negotiations for Next Phase of DOE Loan Guarantee Program for Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

Cellulosic ethanol company Verenium Corporation and BP announced that their jointly-owned, commercial cellulosic ethanol project, located in Highlands County, Florida, has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to enter the due diligence phase of its Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program. Under this program, the DOE may provide loan guarantees for project debt covering up to 80% of eligible costs. The Highlands project is scheduled to break ground in 2010.

The joint venture between BP and Verenium is a 50/50 JV for the commercialization of next-generation cellulosic ethanol. (Earlier post.) BP and Verenium’s proprietary technology enables conversion of nearly all the sugars found in cellulosic biomass, including both five-carbon (pentose, e.g., xylose) and six-carbon (hexose, e.g.., glucose) sugars into ethanol.

The JV will act as the commercial entity for the deployment of cellulosic ethanol technology being developed and proven under the first phase of the BP-Verenium partnership, announced last August. With plans to add additional capacity, the JV also intends to develop a second site in the Gulf Coast region.

Verenium Corporation possesses integrated, end-to-end capabilities and technology in pre-treatment, novel enzyme development, fermentation and project development for next-generation biofuels. Through a joint venture with BP, the Company is moving to commercialize its proprietary technology for the production of ethanol from a wide array of non-food feedstocks, including dedicated energy crops, agricultural waste, and wood products.



The private sector may start to get with cellulose biofuels. The DOE helping with cellulose preprocessing for existing ethanol plants is one way of doing that.

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