(Kona, Hawaii, April 25, 2011) –HR BioPetroleum, Inc. (HRBP), a leading developer of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts, announced today that the company has changed its name to Cellana, Inc., promoted Martin Sabarsky to president and chief executive officer, and that Mike May was elected 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 the most productive plants on earth – 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, the international energy company, 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.
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. He serves on numerous community services organizations including the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts, The Chamber of Commerce and is beginning to serve on the University of Hawaii Foundation board in 2011.
At HECO, May developed and executed the company’s long-term growth strategies, leading the company’s drive of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Hawaii. He joined HECO as a senior vice president in 1992 and was elected president and CEO in 1995; he retired on August 1, 2008. Prior to joining HECO, he was the founder and principal of Management Assets Group, president of Caterpillar Capital Company and held the roles of vice president and general manager of the Energy Services Division at Solar Turbines Inc., a Caterpillar Company and vice president, Finance and Planning, and chief financial officer at Solar Turbines, Inc. and Caterpillar, Inc.
Sabarsky has served as the CFO and COO of HRBP since August 2008. He has significant leadership experience in the industrial biotechnology sector, as well as extensive transactional experience across multiple industries, having worked as an investment banker and attorney on over $13 billion of transactions in aggregate. 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.
Before Diversa, Sabarsky was an investment banker with Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., where he focused on financings, mergers and acquisitions within the life sciences industry. Prior to joining Bear Stearns, he worked as a transactional attorney with Latham & Watkins LLP, where he focused on the corporate, securities and tax aspects of financings and mergers and acquisitions in the real estate, healthcare, venture capital and biotechnology industries. He has an A.B. in biology and political science from Brown University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A. from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. He is an active member of BIO, the world’s largest biotechnology organization and is a frequent presenter at industry meetings.
Cellana, a Hawaii-founded developer of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts, is focused on using the most productive plants on earth – marine microalgae – to produce feedstocks for biofuels, aquaculture feed, animal feed, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and other valuable products while simultaneously reducing industrial emissions of CO2. Cellana intends to construct and operate commercial facilities to produce these products as integrated algae-based biorefineries. To date, over $100 million has been invested in developing Cellana’s algae strains, production technologies and its Kona demonstration facility. For more information, please go to www.cellana.com.