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Aemetis Licenses Biofuel Process From Chevron Venture With CB&I

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Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Aemetis Inc., a U.S. producer of biofuels and renewable chemicals, plans to make jet fuel and diesel using technology developed by a joint venture of Chevron Corp. and Chicago Bridge & Iron Co.

The technology from Chevron Lummus Global LLC uses water to convert plant oils into products that are similar to petroleum crude and are refined into fuel, Cupertino, California-based Aemetis said today in a statement.

Licensing the technology will accelerate Aemetis’s efforts to commercialize “drop-in” renewable jet fuel and diesel. These differ from competing biofuels because they may be used without blending standard, petroleum-based products, said Leon de Bruyn, managing director of Chevron Lummus.

“The biodiesel and biojet produced from the unit are truly fungible” products that replace petroleum-derived fuels, he said in the statement. Chevron Lummus is equally owned by Chevron and CB&I.

Aemetis plans to use the technology at its North American facilities. Under the non-exclusive license, the company will pay a 10-cent-a-gallon royalty fee, “with certain decreases” based on the volume of fuel produced, according to a filing today.

Aemetis owns a corn-ethanol plant in Keyes, California, that can produce 55 million gallons (208 million liters) of fuel annually, and a plant in India with annual capacity of 50 million gallons of biodiesel, edible oil and glycerin, according to its website. The company has been developing its own process to make fuel from plant-based sugars.

“This technology is ideally suited for the conversion of existing biofuels production facilities,” Aemetis Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Eric McAfee said in the statement.

U.S. oil refiners must blend with their products 36 billion gallons of biofuels a year by 2022, according to Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at aherndon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net