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Wednesday, 17/01/2019, 05:11:45 AM
Exxon to Unveil $600 Million Biofuels Spending Today, NYT Says
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Exxon will team up with J. Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics, according to the newspaper. Any large-scale commercial production plants are at least 5 to 10 years away, the New York Times said, citing Emil Jacobs, vice president for research and development at Exxon’s research and engineering unit.

Biofuels, mostly made from corn, account for some 9 percent of the U.S.’s liquid fuel supply, the newspaper said. President Barack Obama is seeking to expand that share as part of a plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions blamed for global warming. Algae, a non-food crop that absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows, can be converted into oil for processing into jet and motor fuels.

David Eglinton, a spokesman for Exxon based in Leatherhead, southern England, confirmed in an e-mail to Bloomberg News that information on biofuel investment will be released this morning.

Oil companies are investing in biofuels as they seek to meet energy demand without adding to atmospheric pollution. In the U.S., Sunoco Inc. moved to acquire its first ethanol plant in May with a winning $8.5 million bid for a 100 million-gallon- a-year facility in New York. San Antonio-based refiner Valero Energy Corp. has become the third-largest U.S. biofuels producer after buying distilleries from VeraSun Energy Corp. this year.

Jet Trial

Airlines are also testing biofuels after the International Air Transport Association said member carriers should use 10 percent alternative fuels by 2017 to reduce global warming.

In January, Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc. conducted the U.S.’s first demonstration flight using biofuel in a commercial jet. A fuel blend made from algae and jatropha scrub plants powered the unmodified twin-engine Boeing Co. 737- 800, the company said.

The White House passed a bill on June 26 to limit greenhouse gases and create a trading system for pollution permits. The cap-and-trade bill, which cleared the House on a 219-212 vote, faces a more difficult path in the Senate, where regional and philosophical differences have divided Democrats.

In Europe, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and HR Biopetroleum announced plans in December to build an algae-growing plant in Hawaii to produce vegetable oil for biofuels. Shell said it may target the European Union market once production comes on stream in two years’ time.

The 27-nation EU wants biofuels to make up an average 5.75 percent of transportation fuels by 2010 and 10 percent by 2020, compared with about 1 percent today, according to the Oxford, England-based charity Oxfam.

Transport-fuel demand will rise 45 percent from 2006 levels to more than 60 million barrels a day by 2030, with the share of biofuels growing to 7 percent from 1 percent, according to Shell.

Last year, The Hague-based Shell quadrupled spending on renewable-energy projects involving second-generation biofuels, which include products made from straw or wood chips, the company said in October.


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