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Beta Renewables and Novozymes partner for cellulosic biofuels

Oct. 30, 2012 - Novozymes and Beta Renewables, a global leader in cellulosic biofuels and part of Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi, have announced an agreement to jointly market, demonstrate and guarantee cellulosic biofuel solutions. As part of the agreement, Novozymes will acquire a 10% share in Beta Renewables, paying approximately EUR 90 million cash for the equity, marketing fees, other intellectual property rights and milestone payments.

As preferred enzyme supplier, Novozymes will gain access to significant new business opportunities. Novozymes expects Beta Renewables to be able to contract 15-25 new cellulosic biofuel facilities in the next three to five years. The annual sales potential for Novozymes from these plants could be up to DKK 1 billion.
 
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be closed by the end of November 2012.
 
The partners will offer customers looking to produce biofuels from agricultural residues, energy crops and other cellulosic feedstocks a combination of Novozymes’ Cellic enzymes and Beta Renewables’ PROESA engineering and production technology. Beta Renewables will embed Novozymes’ enzymes in the PROESA technology and guarantee biofuel production costs upon start-up of customers’ cellulosic facilities. The deal is unique in offering a combined solution that reduces the risk in customers’ projects while providing competitive commercial terms.
 
All of Novozymes’ existing partnerships within cellulosic biofuels will be respected and continued.
 
Later in 2012, Beta Renewables will open the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy. The plant will initially produce 13 million gallons (50 million liters) of ethanol per year from wheat straw, energy crops and other locally available feedstocks. It has a design capacity of 20 million gallons (76 million liters) per year. Beta Renewables has also secured a deal to license its PROESA technology to at least one manufacturing plant in Brazil with GraalBio, and the M&G Group recently received a $99 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to construct Project Alpha, a cellulosic biofuel plant in North Carolina.