Amyris signed an amendment to its existing technology collaboration agreement with Total. Under the enhanced collaboration, Total reaffirms its commitment to Amyris’s technology and dedicates its $82 million funding budget over the next three years exclusively for the deployment of Biofene, Amyris’s renewable farnesene, for production of renewable diesel and jet fuel. Upon completion of the research and development program, Total and Amyris intend to form a joint venture company that would have exclusive rights to produce and market renewable diesel and/or jet fuel, as well as non-exclusive rights to other specialty products.
“Today we reaffirm our strategic relationship with Total to achieve our joint development and commercialization objectives for renewable diesel and jet fuel,” said John Melo, President & CEO of Amyris. “We are appreciative of Total’s ongoing support of Amyris.In addition to Amyris’ continued development of jet and diesel businesses in Brazil independently, this enhanced collaboration provides a global platform for the future growth in fuels under a future joint venture with Total,” Melo concluded.
“Amyris’s best-in-class technology to produce renewable hydrocarbons has proven performance attributes,” said Philippe Boisseau, President, Supply-Marketing and member of Total’s Executive Committee. “With this refocused partnership, we’ll reach our business objectives, expand our ability to become a key supplier in renewable fuels and better meet our customers’ highest demands,” Boisseau concluded.
Under today’s announcement, Total agreed to fund $30 million during the third quarter of 2012. Additional funding will be triggered by Total at annual decision points in mid 2013 and 2014. Detailed information is included in Amyris’s SEC filing associated with this transaction.
“Amyris and Total have had a successful research partnership since 2010 and we continue, through this amended collaboration, to pursue our shared strategy of building the world’s leading renewable technology platform,” said Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Directors of Amyris. “Today’s agreement deepens this long-term partnership and enables Amyris to continue investing in its core technology while accessing the market know-how and scale-up capability of Total,” concluded Levinson.
About the Technology
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.
Amyris operates laboratories and a pilot plant in California as well as a pilot plant and demonstration facility in Brazil. Amyris has been scaling its Biofene production through various production arrangements and expects to operate its first dedicated commercial scale facility in Brazil by early 2013.
This technology will help make it possible for producers to blend renewable hydrocarbons produced from sustainable biomass and organic waste into fuel in proportions that significantly exceed the current 7% set by European Union regulations or other government policies. Renewable fuels developed by Total and Amyris will deliver energy density, engine performance, and storage properties comparable to the best petroleum fuels.
Source: Amyris, press release, 2012-07-31.