Builds on successful track record
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and ST. LOUIS, Jan. 7 - Verenium Corporation (NASDAQ:VRNM), a pioneer in the development of high performance specialty enzymes and a leading developer of cellulosic ethanol technology, and Bunge Oils, Inc., a part of Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG), announced today that they have signed a new agreement to develop enzyme processes for the enhanced production of edible oils. The agreement represents Bunge's continued endorsement of the development and implementation of yield-enhancing enzymatic processes for the refinement of seed oils. Bunge has also agreed to become Verenium's process implementation partner for Verenium's first commercial product for seed oil refining, Purifine(TM), a phospholipase C (PLC) enzyme.
Incorporation of Verenium's innovative PLC enzyme into the vegetable oil production process significantly improves oil yield and reduces the need for chemicals. The Purifine process provides a novel method for removing oil phospholipids during the oilseed degumming process. Oilseed processors using Purifine enzyme are expected to achieve a yield increase of between 1-2%, depending on the phospholipid content of the crude vegetable oil.
"Purifine represents an important new commercial opportunity for our Specialty Enzymes business," said Carlos A. Riva, President and Chief Executive Officer at Verenium. "We are pleased to again be partnering with Bunge, a proven leader in the oilseed processing industry and are confident that this new collaboration will greatly benefit both of our businesses."
Under the terms of the agreement, Verenium and Bunge will also collaborate to develop and commercialize next-generation custom enzymes designed to further improve the economics of vegetable oil processing. Verenium will receive research funding from Bunge to develop the enzymes.
As Verenium's process implementation partner for Purifine, Bunge will supply process expertise to Verenium to assist with the commercial scale-up of the Purifine process, with the goal of producing a validated turn-key process that can be rapidly implemented by the rest of the industry.
"Enzyme-enabled processes are beginning to play a much larger role in vegetable oil production," said Rodney Perry, Vice President and General Manager of Bunge Oils. "By partnering with Verenium, Bunge is ensuring that we will have access to the most robust and customized enzymes available."
Edible oil products include bottled vegetable and cooking oils, shortenings, margarines, and other products derived from the processing of soybeans, corn, rapeseed and other oilseed plants. Edible oils are also the primary feedstock for biodiesel production. The annual global market for edible oils for 2005 was in excess of $29 billion.(1)
Verenium Corporation is a leader in the development and commercialization of cellulosic ethanol, an environmentally-friendly and renewable transportation fuel, as well as high-performance specialty enzymes for applications within the biofuels, industrial, and health and nutrition markets. The Company possesses integrated, end-to-end capabilities in pre-treatment, novel enzyme development, fermentation, engineering, and project development and is moving rapidly to commercialize its proprietary technology for the production of ethanol from a wide array of feedstocks, including sugarcane bagasse, dedicated energy crops, agricultural waste, and wood products. In addition to the vast potential for biofuels, a multitude of large-scale industrial opportunities exist for the Company for products derived from the production of low-cost, biomass-derived sugars.
Verenium's Specialty Enzyme business harnesses the power of enzymes to create a broad range of specialty products to meet high-value commercial needs. Verenium's world class R&D organization is renowned for its capabilities in the rapid screening, identification, and expression of enzymes-proteins that act as the catalysts of biochemical reactions.
Verenium operates one of the nation's first cellulosic ethanol pilot plants, an R&D facility, in Jennings, Louisiana and expects to achieve mechanical completion of a 1.4 million gallon-per-year, demonstration-scale facility to produce cellulosic ethanol by the end of the first quarter of 2008. In addition, the Company's process technology has been licensed by Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp. and Tsukishima Kikai Co., Ltd. and has been incorporated into BioEthanol Japan's 1.4 million liter-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant in Osaka, Japan -- the world's first commercial-scale plant to produce cellulosic ethanol from wood construction waste. For more information on Verenium, visit http://www.verenium.com/.
About Bunge North America
Bunge North America (http://www.bungenorthamerica.com/), the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG), is a vertically integrated food and feed ingredient company, supplying raw and processed agricultural commodities and specialized food ingredients to a wide range of customers in the livestock, poultry, food processor, foodservice and bakery industries. With headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, Bunge North America and its subsidiaries operate grain elevators, oilseed processing plants, edible oil refineries and packaging facilities, and corn dry mills in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
(1) Soya and Oilseed Bluebook, 2007
FCMN Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Verenium Corporation
CONTACT: Kelly Lindenboom, Vice President, Corporate Communications of Verenium Corporation, +1-617-674-5335, email@example.com;
or Deb Seidel, Director of Communications of Bunge North America, +1-314-292-2000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.verenium.com/