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Verenium Announces Start-Up Of Its Demonstration-Scale Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

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by Staff Writers
Cambridge MA (SPX) Apr 15, 2008
Verenium has announced that it has achieved a key development milestone with its demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Jennings, Louisiana with commencement of the transition to "startup" phase. With this phase of the project now effective, the site has been electronically energized and the turnover of individual systems to start-up and operating teams has begun so that the functional capabilities of each system can be tested.

In total, more than forty separate systems will be evaluated over approximately the next three months.

"We are very enthusiastic about the continued progress and momentum at our pilot and demonstration facilities in Jennings; achieving this key milestone is another important step on the path to the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol," said Carlos A. Riva, President and Chief Executive Officer at Verenium.

"The next several months will be critical in terms of scaling our process and technology and garnering the insights needed to begin construction on our first commercial facility -- which will truly be a landmark for the emerging next-generation biofuels industry."

Following the start-up phase, the project will move into a commissioning phase geared toward validating the implementation of Verenium's technology and process at scale, including the ability to produce ethanol within predefined performance criteria. This will include introducing enzymes and ethanologens into the process and running biomass through the system to produce ethanol.

Subsequently, work to optimize the facility and make process improvements will commence as the Company seeks to ensure reliable and cost effective operation. The commissioning and optimization phase is anticipated to continue through the end of this year. Upon the successful completion of these steps, the Company expects to begin construction of its first commercial plant.

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