BP and Verenium Corporation have taken another step in a partnership announced last year by forming a joint venture to develop and commercialize cellulosic ethanol from non-food feedstocks. Both companies have agreed to commit $45 million in funding and assets to the company.
The collaboration will be focused on the development of a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Highlands County, Florida and expects to break ground on that site in 2010. The estimated construction cost for this 36 million gallon-per-year facility is between $250 and $300 million. Production from this plant is expected to begin in 2012. With plans to add additional capacity, the joint venture company also intends to develop a second site in the Gulf Coast region.
The joint venture company will initially be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will be comprised of a team from both BP and Verenium and will be governed by a board with equal representation from both parent companies.