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December 5, 2013
Amyris and Total form joint venture for fuels
Amyris, Inc. (Emeryville, Calif.; www.amyris.com) and Total (Paris; www.total.com) announced today the formation of Total Amyris BioSolutions B.V., a 50-50 joint venture that now holds exclusive rights and a license under Amyris's intellectual property to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel from Amyris's renewable farnesene. Total is Amyris's largest investor, holding approximately 18% of its outstanding common stock, and is deeply committed to the development of next-generation renewable fuels from biomass.
"The joint-venture Total Amyris Biosolutions is a first step towards the commercialization of our renewable diesel and jet fuels. We are in the phase of scaling-up the industrial process and we expect to start commercialization within the next few years, once our joint research and development goals are met," said Philippe Boisseau, President, Marketing & Services and New Energies, and a member of Total's Executive Committee. "As far as commercialization is concerned, the new joint-venture will benefit from the know-how and customer access of TOTAL, which operates in more than 130 countries and is aiming to become a key supplier in renewable fuels," Boisseau added.
Amyris has developed advanced microbial engineering and screening technologies that modify the way microorganisms process sugars. Amyris is using this industrial synthetic biology platform to design microbes, primarily yeast, and use them as living factories in established fermentation processes to convert plant-sourced sugars into renewable chemical and transportation fuel products.
This technology may help make it possible for producers to blend renewable hydrocarbons produced from sustainable biomass and organic waste into conventional fuel, in significant proportions. Renewable fuels developed by Total and Amyris may deliver energy density and engine performance comparable to the best petroleum fuels.
Amyris operates laboratories and a pilot plant in California as well as an industrial-scale facility located in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Amyris has been and will continue supplying renewable fuels in Brazil, including diesel to over 300 public transit buses in large metropolitan areas. Amyris also plans to initiate sales of renewable jet fuel in Brazil once it achieves ASTM validation.