Area Development
General Motors (GM) will finance a venture with Illinois-based Coskata, Inc., a producer of cellulosic ethanol, to produce biofuels from renewable sources. Coskata is a startup company that has developed a technology to produce biofuel from such sources as garbage, old tires, and plant waste. "We will have our first commercial-scale plant making 50 to 100 million gallons of ethanol running in 2011, and that includes the two years it will take to build the plant," says Bill Roe, president and CEO of Coskata. The partnership with GM includes an undisclosed equity state for GM in Coskata, with the possibility of using GM facilities' waste products to make the biofuel. Coskata will begin providing GM with ethanol from its pilot plant by the fourth quarter of this year. "There is no question in my mind that making ethanol more widely available is absolutely the most effective and environmentally sound solution," says GM CEO Rick Wagoner. GM currently has more than 2.5 million flex-fuel vehicles on the road.