Finnish firm Neste Oil officially opened its first European pilot plant for producing microbial oil from waste material in Porvoo, Finland on Friday.

But as the biofuels industry comes under increasing pressure to move away from using dedicated feedstocks, and particularly food crops, for production amid concern that it is driving up food prices and land use change, BP has pulled the plug on its plans for a $300 million plant in Florida.

BP had been planning to build a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Highlands County, Florida to produce 36 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol.

In a statement late last week, however, the company says that in the “best interest of our shareholders” the considerable capital required build the plant will now be put into “more attractive projects” instead.

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