Total and Amyris Form Joint Venture to Make Renewable Fuels

Amyris Inc. and Total SA, France’s largest oil producer, formed a joint venture to manufacture and sell biofuels.

The companies each own 50 percent of Total Amyris BioSolutions BV, according to a statement today. Total is Emeryville, California-based Amyris’s largest shareholder with about 18 percent of outstanding shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The new venture is an effort to shift Amyris’s technology from the lab to full production. The biofuel company uses genetically modified microorganisms to convert plant-sugars into farnesene, a hydrocarbon that can be processed into fuels or specialty chemicals.

The venture “is a first step toward the commercialization of our renewable diesel and jet fuels,” Philippe Boisseau, president of Total’s marketing & services unit, said in the statement. “We are in the phase of scaling up the industrial process and we expect to start commercialization within the next few years.”

Amyris slipped 0.7 percent to $2.80 at the close in New York.

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