Chevron Corporation has formed a biofuels business unit to advance technology and pursue commercial opportunities related to the production and distribution of ethanol and biodiesel in the United States.
Chevron will officially announce the business unit today in Galveston, Texas, where the company is participating in a groundbreaking ceremony to inaugurate construction of one of the first large-scale biodiesel plants in the US.
“Biofuels are a growing component of the world’s energy base and will be an active part of Chevron’s efforts to help diversify the world’s energy supplies,” said Donald Paul, vice president and chief technology officer, Chevron Corporation.
The biofuels business unit will operate within Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), a corporate subsidiary dedicated to identifying, developing and commercializing emerging energy technologies.
In the United States, Chevron currently blends about 300 million gallons of ethanol per year for use in gasoline blends. In January, the company announced it is participating in an E85 demonstration project with the state of California, General Motors and Pacific Ethanol.
The project will study performance, efficiency and environmental issues over a one-year period using California-formulated E85, which Chevron says is a renewable fuel comprising 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
In May, Chevron announced its investment in Galveston Bay Biodiesel (GBB). This Houston-based company is constructing a biodiesel production and distribution facility in Galveston, scheduled for completion by the end of 2006. The facility will have the potential to produce 100 million gallons of biodiesel annually.
GBB will produce biodiesel from soybeans and other renewable feedstocks and is expected to have initial production of 20 million gallons per year. GBB has the option to sell pure biodiesel or biodiesel blended with off-road or on-road diesel into marine, commercial, trucking and industrial markets in the Galveston and Houston metropolitan areas.