Wholly owned Subsidiary Expanding Castor Bean Activity in Brazil
Rehovot, Israel (January 2nd, 2012) – Evogene Ltd. (TASE: EVGN) today announced that it is establishing Evofuel, a wholly owned subsidiary, to focus on developing seed for advanced second-generation feedstock for biofuel.
Included in the activities that are being transferred from the parent company to Evofuel is the development and commercialization of castor bean varieties for Brazil as well as the biofuel research and development activities located in Israel.
World production of biodiesel has been substantially increasing in the past years, reaching over 20 billion liters in 2010, however feedstock supply falls short of meeting the required demand and industry economic and sustainability needs. In addition to being the limiting factor for future growth, feedstock, which currently relies mainly on edible oils, such as soybean and canola, currently constitutes approximately 80% of biodiesel production costs.
Evogene’s biofuel activity, initiated in 2007, targets the development of second generation feedstock to serve as a sustainable, viable and cost efficient source of oil for the growing biodiesel industry. In addition to its activity for development and of advanced castor bean seed, Evofuel intends to broaden its activity to additional potential feedstocks for the biodiesel, biojet and bioethanol markets.
“With the biofuel industry’s continued growth and tremendous demand for cost competitive feedstock, there is a strong and immediate need for a solution based on designated second generation seed products. The establishment of Evofuel as a separate company, strongly positions it to address this substantial un-met need.” stated Ofer Haviv, Evogene’s President and CEO, “We are reinforced by the progress and results of our castor seed in Brazil and believe that access to Evogene’s leading plant genomics capabilities will provide Evofuel with commercial advantages and opportunities in relevant markets.”
Evogene recently announced successful completion of field trials for its advanced castor varieties in Brazil in cooperation with SLC Agricola, a leading agribusiness in Brazil. Based on results obtained demonstrating improved yield potential and performance under rain-fed conditions in northeast Brazil, the companies expanded their activity in order to accelerate development of best performing varieties and agronomical practices suitable for commercial scale production.
Evogene is a world leading developer of improved plant traits, such as yield and drought tolerance, for a wide diversity of key crops through the use of plant genomics. The company focuses on utilizing its proprietary computational genomic technologies to provide a complete solution for plant trait improvement through combining state of the art biotechnology and advanced breeding methods. Evogene is collaborating with world leading seed companies to introduce its improved plant traits into key commercial crops under milestone and royalty bearing agreements. Evogene’s headquarters are in Rehovot, Israel, and its stock is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: EVGN). For additional information, please visit Evogene’s website at www.evogene.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” relating to future events. These statements may be identified by words such as “may”, “expects”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “believes”, “scheduled”, “estimates” or words of similar meaning. Such statements are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions, describe opinions about future events, involve certain risks and uncertainties which are difficult to predict and are not guarantees of future performance. Therefore, actual future results, performance or achievements of Evogene may differ materially from what is expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, many of which beyond Evogene’s control, including, without limitation, those risk factors contained in Evogene’s reports filed with the Israeli Securities Authority. Evogene disclaims any obligation or commitment to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or developments or changes in expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions.
Director of IR&PR