BP to launch UK biobutanol production by 2013

03 November 2009 20:26  [Source: ICIS news]

PARIS (ICIS news)--BP said on Tuesday it plans to launch commercial-scale biobutanol production in the UK in 2012 or 2013 with capacity initially estimated at 420m litres/year (111m gal/year).

The $200m (€136m) project is under a partnership with DuPont, BP biofuels chief executive Philip New said during a presentation at FO Licht’s World Ethanol 2009 conference in Paris.

The plant will use wheat as a feedstock.

A demonstration plant at a BP site at Hull, England, is now under construction, New said, adding that the unit should be operational next year.

According to BP, biobutanol offers 25% higher fuel economy than ethanol, while enabling 60% higher gasoline blend levels than first-generation biofuels.

Unlike regular ethanol, biobutanol can be transported via existing pipelines and can be blended directly at the refinery, he said.

BP expects the cost to produce biobutanol to be equivalent to that of regular ethanol, he said.

The company said it also plans to launch cellulosic ethanol production in the US in 2012 or 2013 in partnership with Massachusetts-based Verenium.

BP and Verenium expect to begin construction of a plant in Florida in 2010 that will have 36m gal/year of capacity.

The project will require an investment of $250-300m, New said.

($1 = €0.68)

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By: William Lemos
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