Chevron and Weyerhaeuser in Joint Venture

April 1, 2008
Chevron and Weyerhaeuser Announce a 50-50 Joint Venture Company

Oil giant Chevron and forest products producer Weyerhaeuser have announced the creation of a 50-50 joint venture company focused on developing the next generation of renewable transportation fuels from nonfood sources.

The joint venture, Catchlight Energy LLC, will research and develop technology for converting cellulose-based biomass into economical, low-carbon biofuels. The formation of Catchlight Energy is the first milestone of a biofuels alliance announced by Chevron and Weyerhaeuser in April 2007 and reflects the companies’ shared view that nonfood biofuels will play an important role in diversifying the nation's energy supply.

“At Weyerhaeuser, we believe our timberlands hold solutions to important problems for people and the planet,” said Miles Drake, senior vice president, research and development and chief technology officer for Weyerhaeuser. “Catchlight Energy represents an imaginative approach to releasing this potential as we work to develop a sustainable solution to the world’s energy needs.”

Mike Wirth, executive vice president, Global Downstream for Chevron, said, “Catchlight Energy brings together two leaders in their industries and leverages their strengths—from feedstocks to fuel manufacturing to marketing—to create a sustainable, economic, nonfood biofuels business at commercial scale.”

Michael Burnside of Chevron has been appointed chief executive officer of Catchlight and W. Densmore Hunter of Weyerhaeuser will be the chief technology officer.

Both Chevron and Weyerhaeuser will contribute resources—including funding, background technology and employees—to Catchlight Energy. Catchlight’s initial focus will be on developing and demonstrating novel technologies for converting cellulose and lignin from a variety of sources into biofuels.

Chevron and Weyerhaeuser already have separate research partnerships under way with universities, national laboratories and technology-based companies to advance the development of nonfood biofuels.