BP sustainability report highlights biofuel projects

By Erin Voegele | March 24, 2014

BP has released its 2013 sustainability report, announcing that it has fulfilled its 2005 commitment to invest $8 billion in alternative energy by 2015 a full two years early. According to the report, BP has invested $8.3 million in alternative energy since making that commitment nearly a decade ago.

However, it’s clear if BP will continue funding alternative energy initiatives at recent levels. In a statement featured in the report, Phil New, CEO of BP Alternative Energy, said the company has not made a public commitment on future alternative energy spending, but said that the commitment made in 2005 allowed the company to cast a wide net in search of businesses that could be financially self-sustaining and a good fit for BP. “Our biofuels business fits the bill on both counts,” he said. “It’s an area where we believe BP can make a real impact and will continue to invest where we see high quality opportunities, both in our existing bioethanol activities and in advanced biofuels.”

Regarding biofuels, the report noted BP is expanding its biofuels operations in Brazil, where it produced 492 million liters (129.97 million gallons) of sugarcane ethanol last year. By early 2015, BP expects to have doubled production capacity at its largest mill, Tropical. The company also noted that its U.K.-based joint venture Vivergo ramped up operations last year. That facility, which produces wheat-based ethanol, has an annual capacity of 420 million liters per year.

Within the report, BP also notes it is working to commercialize advanced biofuels, including cellulosic fuels. “We believe that biofuels can be produced sustainability and can have positive impacts on carbon emissions, rural development and energy security,” said the company.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from BP’s website.