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Virgin Group, NTR Form Virgin Bioverda

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and NTR have formed a joint venture company, VBV LLC (Virgin Bioverda), that will focus on U.S.-based ethanol. VBV’s first deal is an investment in two 100 million gallon corn to ethanol plants – Indiana Bioenergy in Indiana and Ethanol Grain Processors in Tennessee. The total capital investment in these projects will be in the region of $336 million.

Construction of both plants is to be carried out by Fagen Inc. and is expected to be completed in 2008. VBV says it is has already identified a number of additional projects for development in 2007/08, and the company intends to look for additional biofuel opportunities in both North America and Europe.

“This is our second venture in the biofuel market in the U.S. since Virgin Fuels formed under the management of Shai Weiss,” said Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group.

Richard Branson has pledged to invest up to $3 billion over the next 10 years to combat global warming. In September, Branson invested more than $60 million into, a company that will make bioethanol from corn. The new investments bring Virgin’s total financial commitment to the renewable energy sector to $150 million in the
last twelve months.

NTR’s recently announced corporate strategy is to invest up to A?AA¢AA¢a?A¬A?A¡A?AA¬3 billion in renewable energy over the next five years.

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