Virent has a track record of establishing and maintaining long-term partnerships with industry leaders. In early 2016, Virent established a partnership with Johnson Matthey plc, Toray Industries Inc., and Andeavor (formerly Tesoro Refining & Marketing), a premier marketing, logistics and refining company in the United States. Andeavor subsequently acquired Virent in September 2016 with a primary interest in further developing and using Virent’s BioForming® technology to produce ‘drop-in’ bio-fuels and chemicals. Andeavor was later acquired by Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) in October 2018 and, as a result, Virent is today a wholly owned subsidiary of MPC.
In March of 2019, Virent and JM announced a collaboration with the petrochemicals group of BP on scale-up and commercialization of Virent’s BioForming technology for chemical applications. In June of 2020 BP announced the sale of its petrochemical businesses to INEOS, and this transaction closed at the end of 2020.
Following is more information on Virent’s partners:
Marathon Petroleum Corporation is a leading, integrated, downstream energy company. It is the largest refiner in the US with more than 3 million barrels per day of refining capacity, operating 16 refineries across the country. Marathon also owns and operates the Speedway retail convenience store chain, supplies thousands of other gasoline retail stations, and operates pipeline and storage systems for natural gas, crude oil and refined products. Marathon is also active in the renewable fuels industry including ownership interests in ethanol plants and a biodiesel facility.
Johnson Matthey is a global leader in science that enables a cleaner and healthier world. With over 200 years of sustained commitment to innovation and technological breakthroughs, JM improves the function, performance and safety of its customers’ products. JM’s science has a global impact in areas such as low emission transport, pharmaceuticals, chemical processing and making the most efficient use of the planet’s natural resources. JM is Virent’s technology and engineering partner providing support to the engineering and catalyst work needed for a first plant project.
As a result of its acquisition of BP’s global Aromatics business, INEOS is collaborating with Virent and JM on the commercialization of Virent’s BioForming® process for the production of bio-paraxylene (PX), a key raw material for the production of renewable polyester.
INEOS is one of the world’s leading petrochemical companies and the acquired business is known as INEOS Aromatics. This business is a global leader in Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Paraxylene (PX) technology with 6 sites, and supplies the global polyester business which includes polyester fiber, film and PET packaging.
Toray Industries is a Japan-based integrated chemical group with global operations and strong businesses in polyester fibers and textiles, plastics and chemicals, carbon fiber composite materials, life sciences, environment and engineering. Toray’s corporate strategy includes a focus on sustainability and the development of lower carbon footprint products. Toray has a strong existing business in polyester fibers, textiles and films and currently produces a 30% partial bio-polyester fiber. Toray is collaborating with Virent on bio-paraxylene to enable production of 100% bio-polyester fibers and fabric.