Aside from AIG, not many companies are having parties these days. One exception is Oakland, CA-based Amyris Biotechnologies
. Amyris just held a modest party at its headquarters to celebrate the completion of a pilot plant to produce biofuel
. Amyris has developed genetically-engineered yeasts that can break down cellulose and transform it into other products. The pilot plant has a capacity of 2.4 million gallons of renewable diesel
annually. Amyris claims its synthetic diesel is closer in composition to petroleum diesel than other biodiesels
. That allows higher blending rates than are typically practical with most biodiesels. Amyris synthetic diesel can easily be blended at up to 50 percent concentrations. The company also has a joint venture in Brazil where a larger sugar cane ethanol
pilot will open in the spring of 2009. The company hopes to be producing 200 million gallons a year of fuel at $2 a gallon by 2011.