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HR Biopetroleum to buy out partner in algae-to-energy venture

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:09 p.m. HST, Jan 27, 2011

HR BioPetroleum Inc. said today it will buy out its partner in an algae-to-energy venture in Kona.

HR BioPetroleum and Royal Dutch Shell PLC formed the joint venture called Cellana in 2007  to build and operate a demonstration facility to grow marine algae and produce vegetable oil for conversion into biofuel. When the deal closes at the end of the month HR BioPetroleum will become the sole owner of Cellana, including its six-acre facility in Kona.

“The acquisition of Cellana represents a significant opportunity for HRBP
and its corporate and project stakeholders ...,” said Ed Shonsey, chief executive officer.

“We will continue to operate Cellana’s Kona demonstration facility and to
continuously improve the economics for growing marine algae using HRBP’s
patented process,” Shonsey said in a news release.

Shell will to provide short-term funding to HRBP as part of the transition.

Cellana’s first commercial project will be a biofuel plant that the company plans to build next to Maui Electric Co.’s Maalaea Power Plant. Biodiesel made from algae at the Cellana facility will be burned at the plant to generate electricity.

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