Novozymes and partners agree large-scale China biofuels project

20 April 2009 11:18  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Novozymes has teamed up with China’s COFCO and Sinopec to develop commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production in China, the Danish enzymes company said on Monday.

Novozymes estimated that cellulosic ethanol production could create six million direct jobs in China and grow at an annual income rate of yuan (CNY) 32bn ($4.7bn).

The company agreed with its Chinese partners to develop a commercial-scale process for producing bioethanol from corn stover – a waste product from maize harvesting – and expected to deliver its first enzymes in 2010.

The three partners would cover the entire value chain of bioethanol production and distribution, Novozymes said.

“By converting agricultural residues into fuel ethanol, China can reduce its gasoline consumption by 31m tonnes in 2020, thereby reducing its dependence on imported petroleum by around 10%,” said Novozymes CEO Steen Riisgaard.

“By doing that China will abate about 90m tonnes of CO2 emissions,” he added.

A report by Novozymes estimated that China could produce cellulosic ethanol at a cost of $2.5/gallon by 2010, and reduce this to $1.5/gallon by 2015.

“In the short term, building the cellulosic ethanol industry in China represents an CNY90bn business opportunity, of which Chinese companies will capture more than 75%,” it said.

($1 = CNY6.83)

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By: Mark Watts
+44 20 8652 3214

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