Beta Renewables CEO Guido Ghisolfi dead at age 58

By Susanne Retka Schill | March 04, 2015

Guido Ghisolfi, 58, leader of Italian firm Mossi & Ghisolfi Group died March 3. “He was suffering from severe depression and yesterday this resulted in his untimely passing close to his home in Tortona, Northern Italy,” said a statement from the family-owned company he led. Italian newspapers were reporting he died from an apparent suicide. 

 “Guido Ghisolfi was a rare Italian entrepreneur with great skills, perseverance and intuition,” the company statement said. “He was able—together with his father Vittorio and his brother Marco—to lead the group to become a global organization. The Mossi & Ghisolfi Group today is one of the global leaders in the field of plastics and in the field of chemicals derived from renewable sources, in the last of which, in particular, Guido Ghisolfi showed outstanding inspiration, courage and dedication.”

M&G subsidiary Beta Renewables developed the cellulosic ethanol technology trademarked as Prosea, bringing the first commercial scale, 13 MMgy, biorefinery online in Crescentino, Italy, in 2013. 

Ghisolfi led a suite of companies owned by Mossi & Ghisolfi, a $3 billion per year chemical firm that ranks as one of the world’s largest PET producers (a polymer used in plastics bottles and multiple other products.) Chemtex is its wholly-owned global engineering, procurement and construction company and cellulosic technology company Beta Renewables is a joint venture between M&G and TPG Capital and TPG Biotech. Novozymes invested in 2012, acquiring a 10 percent share in Beta Renewables along with marketing and other intellectual property rights.

Beta Renewables has licensed its technology to Gran Bio, which came online this past year in Algoas, Brazil. In October, Biochemtex and Beta Renewables announced the third plant to be built using the Prosea technology in Strazske, Slovak Republic, through an agreement with Energochemica SE in. Biochemtex is developing Project Alpha in Clinton, North Carolina.  Another project is in development in Malaysia with MyBiomass to utilize waste biomass from palm oil processing.