The partnership combines a broad technology platform and operational capabilities in an effort to advance the development of a portfolio of low-cost, environmentally sound cellulosic ethanol production facilities in the US, and potentially throughout the world.

Under the initial phase of the strategic alliance, Verenium is to receive $90 million in total funding from BP over the next 18 months for rights to current and future technology held within the partnership.

The initial phase of the strategic alliance utilizes Verenium’s advanced technology for cellulosic ethanol production as the platform for a joint development effort between BP and Verenium. The companies have formed a special purpose entity (SPE) that is equally owned by BP and Verenium, and will license existing intellectual property from each company and own jointly developed intellectual property in the field of cellulosic ethanol production.

All intellectual property owned prior to the formation of the SPE will be retained by the respective company. Additionally, the SPE will serve as the licensing entity to enable all cellulosic ethanol production projects.

Carlos Riva, president and CEO of Verenium, said: In addition to BP’s world-class capabilities in traditional energy production, logistics and distribution, its commitment to accelerate the development of the global biofuels market was a significant factor in our decision to partner with BP.