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Sapphire & Sinopec to Collaborate on Algae Fuel Project

Algae’s appeal around the world continues as this week yet another agreement is announced between a US algae company and an overseas partner.

On July 10, the US State Department announced that an algae-derived renewable crude oil project between San Diego-based Sapphire Energy and Beijing-based Sinopec, China’s national oil company and the 5th largest company in the Fortune Global 500, has been selected for the U.S.-China EcoPartnerships program. The announcement was made in Beijing, by the U.S. Secretary of State and the People’s Republic of China State Councilor.

This collaboration between the two companies exemplifies the mutual goal of producing cleaner energy solutions for the U.S. and China. Sinopec and Sapphire will demonstrate that crude oil from algae can be produced with favorable economics; that it can be integrated into existing fuels distribution networks; and that it will deliver substantial advantages for the reduction of CO2 emissions in both nations.

ABO salutes Sapphire, Sinopec and the US State Department for its efforts to show the world what is possible with algae. We believe this endeavor will serve as a model for other countries – including the US – to follow, especially in light of new EPA regulations for the reduction of CO2 from coal and natural gas powered electricity generation.

ABO and its membership strongly urge the US EPA to recognize carbon reutilization as an approved mitigation strategy under rule 111(d). Doing so will accelerate the development and adoption of algae-based technologies that convert waste CO2 into a variety of end products that consumers need, from fuel to feed to food, creating thousands of jobs in nearly every state, reducing the harmful effects of climate change, and increasing our nation’s energy and food security.

The announcement of this partnership is one of the many algae-related developments and events that make up the Summer of Algae 2014, a national campaign to raise awareness about the promise of the algae industry to create jobs, domestic fuels, and other food and feed products. The Summer of Algae 2014 is sponsored by the Algae Biomass Organization and implemented by its member companies, with events taking place during the throughout the summer and stretching into early Fall.

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