EMERYVILLE, Calif. & SÃO PAULO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amyris, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS) and Cosan SA Industria e Comércio (Bovespa: CSAN3) announced today that they have executed a binding agreement to establish a joint venture for the worldwide development, production and commercialization of renewable base oils. The parties announced that they had entered into a term sheet for this joint venture in June 2010. Initially, the joint venture would source farnesene from other Amyris production facilities, and the parties would share the marketing and operating costs.
Base oils are the building blocks of lubricant oils, currently derived from a mixture of fractions from the crude oil refining process. Manufacturers then mix additives with base oils to impart desirable properties to meet certain performance conditions, creating a range of lubricants including engine oils, gear oils, hydraulic oils and turbine oils.
By applying Amyris’s synthetic biology platform to modify yeast to produce targeted hydrocarbon molecules, the joint venture will be able to create base oils from plant sugar sources. The Cosan/Amyris joint venture plans to use sugarcane as a feedstock in a standard fermentation process in which Amyris’s modified yeast converts the cane syrup to farnesene (Biofene™). Biofene is then finished chemically to create high-end base oils. These base oils are designed to reduce smoke and odor and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 80% compared with petroleum-sourced base oils. In addition, they are biodegradable, perform well in cold weather and have high-performance viscosity properties.
“This joint venture demonstrates our ability to reach into large, established markets with a paradigm-changing renewable product and a near-term commercialization outlook,” said John Melo, chief executive officer of Amyris. “Cosan´s experience and leadership in sugarcane, and its mission to grow value-added renewable products make them the ideal partner to establish a winner in the renewable base oils space.”
"We believe this joint venture will strengthen our overall business by bringing new and high performance renewable products to our portfolio," said Marcos Lutz, chief executive officer of Cosan. “Amyris’s technology can greatly expand the range and value of products that we can derive from sugarcane and improve Cosan’s portfolio outside of the Cosan/Shell joint venture.”
Amyris is building an integrated renewable products company by applying industrial synthetic biology to genetically modify microorganisms to serve as living factories. Amyris designs these microorganisms to produce defined molecules for use as renewable chemicals and transportation fuels. Amyris Brasil S.A., a subsidiary of Amyris, oversees the establishment and expansion of Amyris’s production in Brazil. In addition, Amyris is building fuels distribution capabilities in the United States through its subsidiary, Amyris Fuels LLC. More information about Amyris and its subsidiaries is available at www.amyris.com.
Cosan is a fully-integrated company with manufacturing and trading of sugar, ethanol and co-generation of electricity from sugarcane, as well as fuels distribution and also production and distribution of lubricants. The company has 23 producing units, with a nominal milling capacity of 62 million tons of sugarcane per year, producing varied qualities of raw and refined sugar and ethanol. Cosan operates the export logistics for sugar through its subsidiary, Rumo Logistica, and the sugar retail distribution in the domestic market through the União and DaBarra brands. The company ranks as one of the four biggest fuel distributors in Brazil, with a distribution network of more than 1,700 service stations. More information about Cosan and its subsidiaries is available at www.cosan.com.br.
This release contains forward-looking statements, and any statements other than statements of historical facts could be deemed to be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements regarding future events (such as statements regarding Amyris’s expectations for the reach of Amyris products into large markets and the joint venture prospects for growth) that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and actual results and future events may differ materially due to risks and uncertainties, including those associated with any delays in production and commercialization of products and other risks detailed in the “Risk Factors” section of Amyris’s final prospectus for its initial public offering, as filed on September 28, 2010 pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act of 1933, and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed on November 10, 2010. Amyris disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Amyris and Biofene are trademarks or registered trademarks of Amyris, Inc.