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Gevo enters license agreement to build renewable isobutanol plants in Argentina

By Mary Page Bailey |

Gevo, Inc. (Englewood, Colo.; www.gevo.com) has entered into a license agreement and a joint development agreement with Porta Hnos S.A. to construct multiple isobutanol plants in Argentina using corn as a feedstock.

The first plant is to be wholly owned by Porta and is anticipated to begin producing isobutanol in 2017.  The plant is expected to have a production capacity of up to five million gal/yr of isobutanol. Based on projected isobutanol pricing, Gevo estimates that it could generate approximately $1 million in annual revenues once the plant is operational, through royalties, sales and marketing fees, and other revenue streams, such as yeast sales.

The agreements also contemplate Porta constructing at least three additional isobutanol plants for certain of their existing ethanol plant customers. For these projects, Gevo would be the direct licensor of its technology and the marketer for any isobutanol produced, and would expect to receive all royalties and sales and marketing fees generated from these projects. As one of the leading engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) service providers to the ethanol industry in Argentina, Porta would provide the EPC services for the projects. The production capacity of these additional plants is still to be determined.

“Porta is a unique partner for Gevo, as they are expected to be both a direct isobutanol licensee, as well as a partner in building out isobutanol plants for other plant owners. We are excited to leverage their EPC expertise and their local Argentinian presence to accelerate the adoption of our isobutanol technology throughout Argentina, and potentially elsewhere in South America. By partnering with Porta, this will dramatically decrease the investment in engineering and business development resources that Gevo would otherwise have to deploy to roll out our technology in the region.  As a result, we anticipate any revenue derived from the Porta relationship to be high margin in nature,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, Gevo’s chief executive officer.

“We appreciate Porta’s desire to be the first direct licensee of Gevo’s isobutanol technology, as well as their agreement to be our EPC partner in Argentina.  Consequently, we have agreed to waive an up-front license fee for the first plant that is to be wholly-owned by Porta,” added Gruber.

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