Royal Dutch Shell's Canadian partner in ethanol producer Iogen Energy has launched a strategic review of its options as it seeks to "maximize shareholder value."

Ottawa-based Iogen Corp., which owns half of the joint venture while Shell owns the other half, has hired Wall Street investment bank Goldman, Sachs & Co. as a financial adviser.

Iogen's statement Tuesday didn't say what strategic alternatives are under consideration. The term often refers to a sale of some or all of a company, a merger or partnership, or sale of debt or equity securities to fund growth.

"Iogen Corp. has developed advanced biofuel technology that is ready to be deployed and enjoys a valuable set of commercial development rights for that technology. Fully exploited, these rights offer a tremendous business opportunity," said Clive Mather, chairman of Iogen Corp.

"At this time, the board of directors feels that it is appropriate to examine all alternatives which will allow the company to realize the potential of this technology and thereby maximize shareholder value."

Besides owning half of Iogen Energy, the company owns and operates a commercial enzyme business and manufacturing facility serving customers globally.

Iogen Corp.'s enzymes are used to modify and improve the processing of natural fibres within textile, animal feed, pulp and paper, grain processing and brewing industries.

Iogen Energy has developed commercial technology for making cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residue. It has been producing ethanol from wheat straw at its Ottawa demonstration plant since 2004.