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Novozymes teams up with Beta Renewables

February 12, 2013

Novozymes, the world’s largest producer of industrial enzymes, and Beta Renewables, a leader in cellulosic biofuels and part of Italy’s Mossi & Ghisolfi group, announced an agreement late last year to jointly market cellulosic biofuel solutions.

Novozymes, the world’s largest producer of industrial enzymes, and Beta Renewables, a leader in cellulosic biofuels and part of Italy’s Mossi & Ghisolfi group, announced an agreement late last year to jointly market cellulosic biofuel solutions.

As part of the agreement, Novozymes will acquire a 10% share in Beta Renewables, for about US$115M.
The partners will offer customers looking to produce biofuels from agricultural residues, energy crops and other cellulosic feedstocks a combination of Novozymes’ Cellic enzymes and Beta Renewables’ PROESA engineering and production technology. Beta Renewables will embed Novozymes’ enzymes in the PROESA technology and guarantee biofuel production costs upon start-up of customers’ cellulosic plants.

“This type of offering will significantly de-risk cellulosic biofuel projects financially and technologically for our customers,” said Beta Renewables’ chairman and CEO Guido Ghisolfi. “It will make cellulosic biofuel projects bankable and accelerate large-scale commercialisation of the industry.”
Novozymes executive vice president, Peder Holk Nielsen, said the company expected Beta Renewables to be able to contract 15-25 new facilities within the next three to five years. “The sales potential for us from these plants could be up to US$175M.”

In the last five years, Beta Renewables has invested over US$200M in developing its PROESA process, which will be used at what is said will be the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy, where operations are expected to start by the end of 2012 (see also ‘Arundo cane to biofuel’, OFI, p14).
Beta Renewables will also help build at least one plant in Brazil with GraalBio (see ‘Bank invests in cellulosic ethanol’, p2) while Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi has received a US$99M loan guarantee from the US Department of Agriculture to construct a cellulosic biofuel plant in North Carolina, USA.


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