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Mitsui and Inbicon Sign First Licensing Agreement to Refine Biomass Into Ethanol

Mar 01, 2010 12:45 AM est    Location: Fredericia, Denmark

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES), one of Japan's leading heavy industries, and Inbicon, the Danish pioneer of cellulosic ethanol technology, today announced the signing of a license agreement for the Inbicon Biomass Refinery technology.


The agreement grants Mitsui the right to build a number of biomass refineries in Southeast Asia using Inbicon's technology. Mitsui intends to apply the technology in the palm oil industry, where wastes from palm oil production can be converted into ethanol, solid biofuel for energy production, and animal feed. The agreement marks the first sale of licensing for Inbicon.


Shunichi Yamashita, Director of Mitsui, said: "With the agreement, we have taken an important step towards the establishing of a plant engineering business for the production of second-generation ethanol in Southeast Asia.  We have already committed considerable resources to the development of this new business. Furthermore, we are expecting to expand the cooperation with Inbicon into other markets."


Niels Henriksen, CEO of Inbicon, stated: "this is the culmination of our year-long cooperation with MES, which started with our testing of palm waste as feedstock. Throughout 2009 we developed the relationship between their people and ours, and we are very proud to have MES as our first licensee.  Signing this agreement positions Mitsui as a frontrunner. We consider it a significant step forward into a long-lasting collaboration."


"It's also an important milestone in the commercialization of Inbicon technology. With the latest developments within enzyme technology from leading enzyme suppliers such as Danisco Genencor and Novozymes, we are now looking at making large-scale production of second-generation ethanol truly practical in countries around the world."   


Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding is one of the biggest and leading heavy industries in Japan, headquartered in Tokyo. Its activities are not limited to shipbuilding, but also include the environment, energy, production, mechatronics, information, logistics, industrial plants, medical science, and leisure sectors.


Inbicon A/S develops technology for conversion and refining of soft ligno-cellulosic biomass into fuel, feed, and green chemistry products. The company operated a pilot plant since 2003, and last December opened its first Inbicon Biomass Refinery in Kalundborg, Denmark to demonstrate its technology. The plant converts wheat straw into fuel ethanol, animal feed, and lignin pellets for energy production. A subsidiary of DONG Energy A/S.