Press for Mascoma

Mascoma Corp., a New Hampshire-based biofuels company, has landed an investment for an undisclosed amount from oil refinery company Valero Energy Corp. in a deal that could also bring up to $50 million to Mascoma’s wood-based cellulosic ethanol biorefinery being built in Michigan.

Biofuels company Mascoma has announced it cut a deal with oil refiner Valero to back construction of a commercial scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Michigan. As part of the deal, Valero has promised to invest up to $50 million in Mascoma and buy the fuel that the plant produces.

Bill Brady is relatively new to Mascoma, but he’s been busy for sure. As he told the Digest recently, “We’ve been at it for months. When I first arrived at Mascoma in January, I looked at the companies in the space, and saw some really impressive technologies. But it was too fragmented for the task at hand. I felt that for biofuels companies to succeed, we had to start putting technologies together, into larger more formidable companies.” Since then he pulled off the acquisition of SunOpta’s biofuels unit, which specializes in pretreatment. About advanced biofuels, he says simply: “The world doesn’t really change unless someone unlocks the potential of cellulose. That means changing the recalcitrance. In the end, cellulose has to be at or below the cost of processing corn.”

Mascoma Corp. has acquired an Ontario-based company whose technology will aid in Mascoma’s commercialization of cellulosic ethanol, the company announced Wednesday.