PetroSun, a company that has been building an algae-to-fuel farm in Texas, said this week that it plans to establish an algae farm in China that will produce algae to be converted into biofuels. The company says it has an agreement with the Shanghai Jun Ya Yan Technology Development Co., which will commit $40 million to fund the initial construction of the farm. The profits of the venture will be split between PetroSun’s China subsidiary and Shanghai Jun Ya Yan Tech.
PetroSun’s algae farm in Texas is building out 1,100 acres of ponds that it hopes will produce 4.4 million gallons of algal oil and 110 million pounds of biomass per year. We’re not sure how big the operations in China will be, but $40 million can create a sizable farm.
Algae is the next-generation biofuel for which everyone has been waiting. Its advocates say it can be more sustainable and more efficient than the first generation of biofuels being created now, which are based on corn and soybeans. Algae fuel is also getting a ton of investment — in the third quarter the sector brought in a record $95 million. About half of that went to Sapphire Energy and half to Solazyme.