BP invests $10 mln in biofuel firm

BP is investing $10 million in WasteFuel, a biofuels company that expects its first project to be in Dubai.

The new investment will enable WasteFuel to upgrade its plans to develop its first waste-to-bio-methanol plant in the UAE, according to a BP statement on Thursday.

WasteFuel is based in California and focuses on converting municipal solid waste to low-carbon fuels, like bio-methanol.

The company’s existing investors include Maersk, NetJets, Prime Infra, i(x) Net Zero, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, Guy Oseary, and Aileen Getty, according to the company’s website.

WasteFuel aims to develop multiple bio-methanol plants around the world in collaboration with local strategic partners including waste companies. BP and WasteFuel have entered a memorandum of understanding for BP to offtake the produced bio-methanol and to work together to help optimise and improve bio-methanol production.

“WasteFuel projects will look to help with the growing volumes of global waste, whilst advancing the development of lower carbon solutions for hard-to-abate sectors. Achieving decarbonisation in shipping will require a step-change, and biofuels have a key role to play in helping the industry to decarbonise. We look forward to working together on WasteFuel’s next stage of growth and market development.” said Gareth Burns, vice president BP ventures.

Bioenergy is one of BP’s five transition growth engines, in which the company plans to invest heavily through the current decade. The transition growth engines – which also include convenience, electric vehicle charging, hydrogen and renewables, and power – will help drive BP’s transition to an integrated energy company and delivery of the company’s net zero ambition.

“Working with WasteFuel allows BP to offtake bio-methanol and help optimize production which could support decarbonising shipping. BP is in action to produce more biofuels, aiming to deliver around 100,000 barrels per day by 2030, to help decarbonise transport. Investments like this are important as we strive to reach net zero and help our customers decarbonise too.” said Philipp Schoelzel, vice president of next generation biofuels in BP.

Trevor Neilson, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of WasteFuel, added: “This investment from BP ventures is a significant milestone for WasteFuel as it will help scale the production of bio-methanol to decarbonise the shipping sector. As companies who are reliant on shipping work to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, it is essential that we dramatically expand the availability of these fuels.”

BP and WasteFuel are both members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI).

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