Amyris, Total form Total Amyris BioSolutions joint venture
Amyris Inc. and Total announced Dec. 5 the formation of Total Amyris BioSolutions B.V., a 50/50 joint venture that now holds exclusive rights and a license under Amyris' intellectual property to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel from Amyris' renewable farnesene. Total is Amyris' largest investor, holding approximately 18 percent 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,” said Philippe Boisseau, president, marketing and services and new energies, and a member of Total’s executive committee. “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. 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.”
“The formation of this joint venture, anticipated by our streamlined collaboration agreement signed last year, paves the way for us to initiate our fuels commercialization efforts globally, building on Amyris’ experience with renewable diesel in Brazil and the growing demand for lower-emission jet fuels worldwide,” said John Melo, president and CEO of Amyris. “Total has been a strategic partner for Amyris for the past three years and a model of how global companies can leverage our inspired science to deliver sustainable solutions for a growing world.”
Detailed information regarding the terms of the collaboration and funding structure can be found in Amyris’ SEC filings.
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 Sao Paulo, Brazil. Amyris has been and will continue supplying renewable fuels in Brazil, including diesel to more than 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.
Total is one of the largest integrated oil and gas companies in the world, with activities in more than 130 countries. The group is also a first rank player in chemicals. Its 97,000 employees put their expertise to work in every part of the industry—exploration and production of oil and natural gas, refining and marketing, new energies, trading, and chemicals. Total is working to help satisfy the global demand for energy, both today and tomorrow. The group holds a 66 percent stake in SunPower, a world leader in solar energy, and an approximately 18 percent stake in Amyris, an integrated renewable products company. Additionally, Total is actively engaged in a number of renewable R&D projects, such as solar and biomass.