Cambridge, Massachusetts – BP and Verenium Corporation have announced the creation of a strategic partnership to accelerate the development and commercialization of cellulosic ethanol. The partnership between the oil company and the ethanol company combines a broad technology platform and operational capabilities to advance the development of low-cost, environmentally-sound cellulosic ethanol production facilities in the United States and potentially throughout the world.

Under the initial phase of the alliance, Verenium is to receive US$90 million in total funding from BP over the next 18 months for rights to current and future technology held within the partnership.

“We are very excited and proud to be partnering with BP, a world leader in both the traditional and alternative energy industries, that shares our commitment and vision to rapidly evolve next-generation ethanol into a commercial-scale solution for our energy needs,” said Carlos Riva, president and CEO of Verenium. “In addition to BP’s world-class capabilities in traditional energy production, logistics and distribution, their commitment to accelerate the development of the global biofuels market was a significant factor in our decision to partner with BP. In addition, both organizations are aligned on the significant market opportunity and operational imperatives for achieving rapid, commercial-scale success.”

Beyond the initial phase of the alliance, the companies are expected to negotiate a second phase focused on the development of a joint venture to accelerate the deployment of the technologies into commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production facilities. The technology may also be licensable to third-party commercial projects.

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