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Algae jet fuel moves closer to market in Japan

Bioventure taps partners for financing with eye on 2020 target

Euglena President Mitsuru Izumo, left, holding jet fuel made from microalgae.

TOKYO -- Japanese bioventure Euglena is arranging equity tie-ups with five companies to speed up its efforts to commercialize jet fuel made from microalgae -- thereby cutting carbon emissions --  by 2020.

The Tokyo-based company will allocate new shares to the companies as early as June, procuring 1.1 billion yen ($9.86 million) for its new biojet fuel testing facility. Agricultural machinery producer Kobashi Kogyo will provide 500 million yen, gaining a roughly 0.5% stake in Euglena, while Chiyoda Corp. will invest 300 million yen. The other three, including Isuzu Motors and Itochu Enex, will put up 100 million yen each.

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