Novozymes to launch ethanol product in Q1: CEO

Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:57am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Danish biotech company Novozymes would launch in the first quarter this year a new enzyme to produce transport fuel from agricultural waste, its chief executive Steen Riisgaard told Reuters on Saturday.

That was the company's firmest guidance yet on the timing of the release of the new product, called Cellic, said Riisgaard.

Novozymes has a 47 percent market share in the global enzyme industry, for use for example in the food and washing products industry, as well as bio-ethanol.

U.S. ethanol producer POET has trialed the Novozymes enzyme on a limited basis for a couple of months, but following the launch it would be available generally on a commercial basis.

"It's going to be ready in commercial quantities. You have to be able to do it at a big scale. We are building a facility at a new factory in Nebraska just for this purpose," Riisgaard said.

He said the company could show that its new product would be competitive with corn-based ethanol and gasoline.

"We can demonstrate ... a total cost including the capital cost for building a factory will be in the order of 225 cents (per gallon). In the U.S. there is a subsidy of 101 cents which makes it certainly competitive with corn-based, where the subsidy is only 46 cents.

"It's going to be a good business ... if they (ethanol producers) can rely on the continuation of the subsidy," he said.

He expected a widespread commercialization of cellulosic ethanol production by 2013, "in the best case."   Continued...

<p>A vile of cellulosic material sits in a fridge inside a research facility May 7, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files</p>