DSM in $250m cellulosic ethanol joint venture
Amsterdam – Two elephants in the biofuels business join forces. Dutch food and chemicals group Royal DSM and POET, LLC, a US-based ethanol producer, announced a plan to build a commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. POET–DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, is scheduled to start production in the second half of 2013. DSM's CEO Feike Sijbesma speaks of a "milestone" for the company. "Together we shall deliver the key to unlock the cellulosic bio-ethanol opportunity." Maize crop residue such as husks and stalks will be processed by enzymatic hydrolysis followed by fermentation. DSM and POET will each hold a 50% share in the joint venture, which will be headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The two partners estimate that it will cost US-$250m to build the plant with a capacity of 20m gallons in the first year, rising to about 25m thereafter. Money should come out as well, with profitability expected from the first full year of production. The joint venture POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, wants to license the technology to the other 26 maize ethanol facilities managed by POET and to other producers in the United States and the rest of the world.