Sempra Commodities, the commodity-marketing unit of Sempra Energy, San Diego, announced an agreement with New Hope Partners, a renewable energy developer, to create a joint venture focused on ethanol production in the United States.



"As the United States embraces the development of all forms of renewable energy, we expect the ethanol market to grow rapidly and be a significant component of our nation's energy mix over the next decade," said Tammy Norman, vice president of business development for Sempra Commodities.



New Hope Partners, Newtown, Pa., will take the lead on siting and developing the production facilities, while Sempra Commodities will market the ethanol and provide risk-management services. The partners expect the new joint venture to begin operations in the second quarter of 2005.



Source: Company Release