Energy giant Shell International has signed binding Agreements with Brazilian company Cosan to begin forming a new, $12 billion joint venture project that would see Shell develop sugar can ethanol and new, “next-generation” alternative fuels.
More on what this project means for the future of biofuels, after the jump.
With annual production projections, the Shell/Cosan project aims to be one of the largest ethanol producing firms in the world, and—considering Shell’s equity in logistics firms Iogen Energy and Codexis—enjoy enviable access to infrastructure that will allow easy distribution of the newly-produced ethanol, as well.
Mark Williams, Shell Downstream director, explains that “the proposed joint venture is set to pool our complementary businesses, enhance our growth prospects in ethanol production globally and support our growth platform for our retail and commercial fuels businesses in Brazil.” Executives from Cosan echoed this belief, and both companies “toed the line” with appropriate references to green tech and sustainable fuel sources.
The new joint-venture company also promises generate its own electricity from sugar cane bagasse, powering all of its jobsites, as well as ten cogeneration plants that are already operational.
With 18 billion liters of fuel sales projected, across 4500 retail sales locations, the Shell/Cosan company should have a competitive edge in Brazilian fuels distribution that may, eventually, make the trip stateside as Shell begins to offer E85 at more and more locations across the US… which is good news for gearheads and good news for fans of ethanol-based fuels.