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Verenium technology to be used in Asia

By Kris Bevill
Web exclusive posted July 25, 2008 at 9:46 a.m. CST

Cambridge, Mass.-based Verenium Corp., a cellulosic ethanol enzyme developer and producer, is collaborating with Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp. to continue the advancement of cellulosic ethanol facilities in Asia.

Last week the companies announced the opening of an approximately 790,000 gallon per year cellulosic ethanol production facility in Saraburi, Thailand. Marubeni spokesperson Kanaya Mitsushige said the plant began operations in March and is continuing to operate on a demonstration-scale under supervision from Marubeni headquarters.

The facility is colocated with an ethanol production facility that will use sugarcane as its primary feedstock. The bagasse left over from ethanol production will be utilized as feedstock at the cellulosic plant, using Verenium's process technology to produce ethanol.

"We are very pleased to see our proprietary cellulosic technology continue to serve as a template for the commercialization of next-generation ethanol in Asia," said Carlos Riva, president and chief executive officer at Verenium. "As in the U.S., we believe cellulosic ethanol derived from non-food biomass is going to play a critical role in the global energy mix, and we look forward to further partnering with Marubeni, as we continue to advance additional strategic corporate partnership opportunities, to expand our technology's reach and potential around the globe."

Marubeni and Tsukishima Kikai Co. Ltd., co-sub-licensors of Verenium's cellulosic ethanol production technology, have already utilized the process in an approximately 370,000 gallons per year cellulosic facility in Osaka, Japan, which primarily uses wood waste as feedstock.
 

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