"This plant, the first of many we anticipate building in the years ahead, will help fulfill the U.S. government's mandate for advanced, sustainable biofuels to meet America's energy needs," said Carlos A. Riva, Verenium's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The facility will serve as a blueprint for how we develop future projects. This milestone is just the beginning."
Riva said the strategic partnership with Lykes Bros. provides the basis for a long-term supply of agricultural feedstock, essential to ensuring next-generation biofuels are cost-efficient. The Florida project is the first of several the Company has under development.
The Highlands Ethanol Project
The agreements between Verenium and Lykes Bros. include a facility site option and a long-term farm lease. Under these agreements, Lykes will provide the necessary feedstock from approximately 20,000 farmable acres adjacent to the site.
The project has been awarded a $7 million grant under Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson's "Farm to Fuel" initiative, designed to stimulate the development of a renewable energy industry in Florida. This $25 million program provides matching grants to bio-energy firms for demonstration, commercialization and research and development projects utilizing Florida-grown biomass or crops. Verenium was also awarded an additional incentive package from the State of Florida.
"The message today is that Florida's agricultural industry can produce fuel crops on a major commercial scale without sacrificing food crops," Bronson said. "This is a major step forward for our 'Farm to Fuel' program and hopefully will serve as a catalyst for additional investment by companies interested in producing renewable energy in Florida."
Howell Ferguson, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Lykes Bros. commented, "We foresee great potential for fuel
|SOURCE Verenium Corporation|
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