Verenium sells cellulosic biofuels business to BP

BP Biofuels North America is to acquire Verenium’s cellulosic biofuels business, including the company’s facilities in Jennings, Louisiana, and San Diego, California, for $98.3m (£64.5m).

According to BP, Verenium will retain its commercial enzyme business, including its biofuels enzymes products and have the right to develop its own lignocellulosic enzyme programme.

Verenium will also retain select RandD capabilities, as well as rights to access select biofuels technology developed by BP using the technology it is acquiring from Verenium through this agreement.

‘This acquisition demonstrates BP’s intent to be a leader in the cellulosic biofuels industry in the US and positions us as one of the few global companies with an integrated end-to-end capability, from RandD through commercialisation to distribution and blending,’ said Philip New, chief executive of BP Biofuels.

In separate news, Exxon Mobil Corporation and Synthetic Genomics (SGI) have opened a greenhouse facility enabling the next level of research and testing in their algae biofuels programme.

The new facility, opened yesterday at a ceremony at SGI’s headquarters in La Jolla, California, moves the project from the laboratory to an environment conducive to real-world conditions for algae production.

SGI and ExxonMobil researchers are using the facility to test whether large-scale quantities of affordable fuel can be produced from algae.