KL Energy extends joint development deal with Petrobras

By KL Energy Corp. | June 25, 2012

KL Energy Corp. (KLE) today announced it has successfully completed the first phase of the work program under the Joint Development Agreement with Petrobras America Inc. signed on Aug. 23, 2010. 

All cellulosic ethanol produced from sugarcane bagasse in KLE's demonstration plant in 2011 has been shipped to Petrobras SA in Brazil. KLE recorded the first cellulosic ethanol RIN [renewable identification number] credits issued by the U.S. EPA.

Having met all technology milestones and ethanol production targets, Petrobras and KLE decided to extend the scope of the JDA.

Under the terms of the extended JDA, KLE upgraded its demonstration plant, expanded production process validations and added on-site yeast production capabilities. The plant now represents the design of future commercial plants, with one tenth of the planned capacity, engineered for integration with Brazilian sugarcane mills. Throughout most of the balance of 2012, KLE will process sugarcane bagasse into fuel spec ethanol. 

On April 17, as provided by the JDA, KLE signed a technology and patent  license agreement with Petrobras, which licenses KLE's cellulosic ethanol technology to Petrobras for the use in any of its Brazilian sugarcane production assets.

Joao Norberto Noschang, biofuels manager at Petrobras Biocombustiveis, said, "Petrobras is committed to bringing the most advanced biofuels technologies to the Brazilian market. With the support of KLE we have made great advance in the area of cellulosic ethanol, which is best documented in the first industrial production of ethanol from sugarcane bagasse in 2011."

KLE's President and CEO Peter Gross said, "The last few years have been challenging for the entire advanced biofuels industry, but jointly with our partner Petrobras we have kept our heads down and worked hard towards achieving all of our technical and commercial goals. At the end of the 2012 sugarcane bagasse program we will have an industrially validated technology specifically designed for Brazilian sugar mills."