September 11, 2006
Richard Branson to invest up to US$400 million in renewable energy projects
London, England – Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has announced that he will invest up to US$400 million in renewable energy projects through his Virgin Fuels subsidiary, according to a report by the Green Car Congress. The first investment is US$60 million in Cilion, a new joint venture between Western Milling, California’s largest grain milling company, and venture capital firm Khosla Ventures.
Cilion plans to build and operate modular, standardized ethanol plants that are intended to be cheaper and “greener” than standard corn-to-ethanol plants, with a substantial reduction in fossil fuels needed for the production process. The company plans to have seven to eight plants in production by 2008; the first three are expected to be in California.
Branson says he plans to expand the investment program into the UK, Europe and other parts of the world, and will also target other forms of alternative energy.