Iogen sells equity stake to Shell for $46 million

Guest Contributor
May 22, 2002

Iogen Corp has received a $46-million equity investment from Holland’s Royal Dutch Shell Group to establish a commercial scale biomass-to-ethanol production plant in return for a 20% stake in the Ottawa-based company and two seats on its board of directors. The investment will allow the privately held firm to construct the first bioethanol plant in the world. No decision has been made on where the facility will be located. The cash infusion will also fund Iogen’s R&D efforts to produce bioethanol from waste or inedible plant fibres. Shell’s investment is considered a major advancement in the push to increase the use of ethanol — a high-octane alcohol produced by the fermentation of sugars derived from plant fibre of renewal feedstocks such as wood and straw — in automobiles and other devices with combustion engines. Shell will contribute its expertise in fuel production and plant operations and receives first rights to any new technology developed under the collaboration. Iogen is urging the federal government to require oil companies to blend a percentage of ethanol into their gasoline, and increase the percentage as ethanol production increases. Additives such as ethanol are considered a highly cost effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by fossil fuels….

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