British Petroleum Gets Out of Next-Generation Ethanol

We'll spare you a repeat of the whole saga about how BP once bought a small PV company as part of a big oil company merger with Amoco and then started billing itself as the world's largest solar company, getting set to move "beyond petroleum." And we'll spare you a repeat of the story about how, in subsequent years, BP decided advanced photovoltaics wasn't such a great business to be in after all. The important news this week, reported by the Financial Times, is that British Petroleum is cancelling plans for a $300 million second-generation ethanol plant in Florida. When BP launched the project three years ago, it said the new plant might employ 600-800 people in central Florida; it now says it has no further interest in pursuing cellulosic ethanol production in the United States. According to the FT, that means BP's renewables portfolio will now be confined to some wind projects in the United States and cane ethanol production in Brazil.

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