Gevo signs licensing, joint development agreements with Praj

By Gevo Inc. | November 10, 2015

Gevo Inc. announced that it has entered into a license agreement and a joint development agreement with Praj Industries Ltd. to enable the licensing of Gevo’s isobutanol technology to processors of non-corn based sugars, including the majority of Praj’s global customer base of ethanol plant owners.

As part of these agreements, Praj will invest substantial resources in the development and optimization of Gevo’s isobutanol technology for use with non-corn feedstocks including sugar cane, sugar beets, cassava, rice, sorghum, wheat and certain cellulosic sugars. This development work is anticipated to lead to process design packages (PDP) that would be expected to accelerate the licensing of Gevo technology to processors of these, particularly in Praj’s extensive customer base. The development work is expected to build upon the PDP that Gevo already has developed for corn, translating it to other feedstocks and plant configurations.

Praj would be the customer-facing entity marketing Gevo’s isobutanol technology to Praj’s existing customer base, and would provide the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for such projects. Gevo would be the direct licensor of its technology to these end customers. Globally, Praj is one of the leading suppliers of EPC services to the ethanol industry, having provided such services to approximately 350 ethanol plants across 65 countries. It is anticipated that Praj and Gevo will also work together to commercialize Gevo’s technology for making renewable jet fuel from isobutanol in India.

As previously announced, Gevo and Praj expect to license up to 250 million gallons of Biobutanol capacity over the next 10 years under this partnership.

In addition to its PDP development, Praj will also contribute engineering services to optimize Gevo’s Luverne facility. Initially, the focus will be to optimize energy and water usage at the plant, which is expected to lead to an even lower cost isobutanol process.

“We are pleased to partner with Gevo in the commercialization of their isobutanol technology,” said Pramod Chaudhari, executive chairman of Praj. “We believe that the potential for isobutanol is significant and that it could provide our customers a path to meaningfully improve their profits. We have been working diligently with Gevo for the better part of 2015, and are glad to finally sign binding agreements with them. We look forward to creating a new and profitable opportunity for first-generation ethanol plant owners, as well as accelerating the use of second-generation cellulosic feedstocks to produce isobutanol.”

“Praj is a global leader, particularly in the non-corn ethanol sector,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, Gevo’s chief executive officer. “Praj shares the vision of Gevo of making bio-based products for chemicals and fuels, adding value to existing alcohol plants.  We are pleased to see them making these investments, demonstrating their belief in our isobutanol technology. Licensing is expected to be a key growth area for Gevo, and we very much look forward to Praj being one of Gevo’s key partners in rolling out our technology globally. We are also excited to be able to leverage their engineering expertise to potentially help improve our operating costs at Luverne. Any efficiencies we identify will help improve the overall operating costs of isobutanol, which will only expand the profit potential for Gevo and our future licensees.”