HR Biopetroleum changes name to Cellana

Algae-based biofuels and bioproducts company HR BioPetroleum, Inc. has changed its name to Cellana, Inc., promoted Martin Sabarsky to president and chief executive officer, and elected Mike May to the board of directors.

Former CEO Ed Shonsey will remain on the board, joining chairman and co-founder C. Barry Raleigh, Ph.D., May and Sabarsky, who was also elected to the board at a recent shareholders’ meeting.

HR BioPetroleum, now Cellana, Inc., founded in Hawaii in 2004, uses marine algae to produce feedstocks for biofuels, aquaculture feed, animal feed, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and other valuable products while simultaneously reducing industrial emissions of CO2. In 2007, HRBP and Royal Dutch Shell PLC formed Cellana as a separate joint venture to build and operate a six-acre demonstration facility to grow marine algae and produce vegetable oil for conversion into biofuel. HRBP became the sole owner of Cellana LLC in January 2011. (Earlier post.)

May, founder of T. Michael May Advisor Services, was CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO) from 1995 to 2009. He serves on the board of directors for Sopogy, American Electric and The James Campbell Company. He is an adviser to Natural Power Concepts and two other energy start-ups. He also served for over 13 years on the boards of the Electric Power Research Institute and the Edison Electric Institute.

Sabarsky has served as the CFO and COO of HRBP since August 2008. Prior to joining HRBP, he led the corporate development function at Diversa Corp., a public industrial biotechnology company now known as Verenium Corp., and led a number of additional functions within Diversa’s Finance and Accounting Department.

Cellana intends to construct and operate commercial facilities to produce algae-based biorefineries. To date, more than $100 million has been invested in developing Cellana’s algae strains, production technologies and its Kona demonstration facility.

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