AquAgro invests $1.5m in biodiesel start-up

Transbiodiesel has signed a deal with a US firm with $10 billion in sales.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Transbiodiesel Ltd. has raised $1.5 million from B. Gaon Holdings Ltd. (TASE: GAON) cleantech venture capital arm AquAgro Fund LP, which acquire a 25% stake in the company. The investment will be in two tranches subject to Transbiodiesel meeting commercial milestones.

The sources added that Transbiodiesel has also signed a cooperation agreement with a US biodiesel company that has 17 employees and $10 billion in annual sales. Transbiodiesel did not disclose the name of the US company.

Transbiodiesel CEO Dr. Sobhi Bashieer founded the company at the LN Technology Innovations Ltd. incubator's Agudat Hagalil Ltd. R&D center in the Israeli Arab city of Shfaram in the Galilee. Bashir was a founder of Agudat Hagalil in 1999. Transbiodiesel aims at solving the problem biodiesel production by chemicals, which pollutes the land with its waste discharges.

Basheer has developed technology to produce biodiesel with enzymes. This method aims to achieve three advantages: ecofriendly production; substantially lower costs compared with current production methods; and the production of ecofriendly glycerin as a byproduct, which is a valuable raw material in several industries. The current chemical method for producing glycerin is polluting.

Basheer and LN Technology Innovations each own 35% of Transbiodiesel, AquaAgro owns 25%, and Altshuler Shaham Ltd. and Zeev Bronfman jointly own 5%.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 12, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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