Iogen, Shell expand partnership

By Kris Bevill
Web exclusive posted July 17, 2008 at 3:07 p.m. CST

Ottawa-based biotechnology firm Iogen Corp. and petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC recently announced they will continue their partnership to accelerate the development and production of cellulosic ethanol.

The companies began working together in 2002, when Shell acquired an equity stake in Iogen. Shell said the collaboration with Iogen is a key part of Shell's strategic investment and development program in next-generation biofuels.

As part of the expanded partnership, Shell will make a significant investment in Iogen and will increase its shareholding from 26.3 percent to 50 percent in Iogen Energy Corp., a subsidiary of Iogen that focuses on technology development.

Shell is also contributing to full-scale cellulosic production feasibility and design assessment work being conducted by Iogen.

"We are excited to see this expanded partnership," said Brian Foody, chief executive officer of Iogen. "This transaction sets the stage for successful large scale cellulosic ethanol production."

Iogen's demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, which opened in Ottawa in 2004, uses an enzymatic hydrolysis process to produce ethanol from wheat straw. The company also develops, manufactures and markets enzymes used to modify and improve the processing of natural fibers.