Shell aims to be leading biofuels player with Raizen venture

02 June 2011 18:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Shell is aiming to become a leading biofuels company with its Raizen joint venture in Brazil, an executive said on Thursday.

Shell and Brazil’s Cosan launched the 2bn litre/year ethanol Raizen joint venture earlier on Thursday.

“We want to be one of the world’s leading biofuels players, both in the manufacturing of biofuels and in the distribution and blending of biofuels,” said Mark Gainsborough, Shell executive vice president for alternative energies. 

The Raizen joint venture is a “great way” for Shell to get the necessary scale in the biofuels business, he said.

Up until now, Shell has only been in the technology development end of biofuels.

While technology development remains important, Raizen will help Shell to scale up its biofuel presence quickly, Gainsborough said.

Raizen’s sugarcane-based production is the most efficient way to make biofuels, and with Shell’s technologies and expertise the process would become even more efficient, he said.

Ethanol made from Brazilian sugarcane generates about 70% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than conventional gasoline, he said.

Sugar-based biofuels production “is one of the things we can do now” to reduce CO2 in transport fuels, whereas other options are more expense or not yet fully developed, he said.

“The great thing about sugarcane ethanol is that it is affordable today, and it provides a good platform for very cost-effective low-C02 advanced biofuels in the future,” he said.

For more on Shell and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence
Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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