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GM and Marathon Oil both invest in same cellulosic ethanol company

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Mascoma Corporation Raises $61 Million in Third Round of Funding
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mascoma Corporation and Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO), today announced a $10 million equity investment by Marathon in Mascoma. The investment, which is part of $61 million raised in Mascoma’s third round of funding, reflects Marathon’s commitment to collaboration on the development, adoption and deployment of efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective next generation ethanol production.

Marathon’s investment will go towards the funding of research and development activities at Mascoma, as well as the construction of operating facilities. As part of this new investment, Cliff Cook, Senior Vice President of Supply, Distribution and Planning at Marathon, has joined the Mascoma Board of Directors.

With the completion of this round of financing, Mascoma has raised approximately $100 million in equity investment. Mascoma has also received commitments for over $100 million in state and federal grants, including the recent awarding of a $26 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Marathon is the fourth largest United States-based integrated oil and gas company and the nation's fifth largest refiner. The company is a leading ethanol blender, and by mid-2008, Marathon will have the capacity to blend ethanol at the E-10 level throughout its entire distribution system. Marathon also holds an equity interest in two Midwest ethanol manufacturing plants with a combined capacity of 220 million gross gallons per year.

GM and Mascoma Enter into Biofuels Relationship
WASHINGTON, May 1 – General Motors Corp. and Mascoma Corp. today announced a strategic relationship to develop cellulosic ethanol focused on Mascoma’s single-step biochemical conversion of non-grain biomass into low-carbon alternative fuels to help address increasing energy demand.

The relationship, which includes an undisclosed equity investment by GM, complements an earlier investment in a cellulosic ethanol startup that uses a thermo-chemical process to make ethanol from non-grain sources.
Mascoma has announced three seperate cellulosic ethanol facilities in New York, Tennessee and Michigan:
The company's New York pilot facility, which will be capable of churning out 500,000 gallons of fuel a year, will likely start producing fuel in the first quarter of 2008 and become fully operational in the second quarter. It will rely on wood chips.

The company is also building a facility in Tennessee that will be capable of producing 5 million gallons a year. While this plant will ultimately make ethanol out of switchgrass, a fast-growing grass that needs little irrigation, there isn't a lot of switchgrass in Tennessee at the moment. The state has created an $8 million program to encourage farmers to grow the stuff, but it will take two to three years to get the first crops. Since Mascoma wants to open the plant in late 2008, it will have to start with wood chips.
Solid-material recycling is one of the issues the company is working on while planning its Michigan facility.
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