Danish industrial enzymes producer Novozymes, which is pinning big hopes on producing enzymes for biofuels, said it expected U.S. bioethanol production to hold up well in the second half of this year.

The company expects the U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS) -- a key regulation for the industry -- to be maintained, which would lead to 10.5 billion gallons of bioethanol output in 2009, said Peder Holk Nielsen, head of Novozymes enzymes business.

Our expectation is that the RFS will stand and that there will be something like 14 percent growth (this year in bioethanol production), he told analysts and reporters in a strategy update.

That could even be conservative, he said of the 10.5 billion gallon forecast.

He said the United States accounts for more than 90 percent of Novozymes' sales of enzymes to bioethanol producers.

He said the RFS provided a floor under the business.

But discretionary use of biofuels offered potential on top of that standard.

(Reporting by John Acher)