News | July 3, 2014

Ontario Biochemical Plant Lands $7M Grant From Federally-Funded SDTC

<p>Sarnia, ON - A biochemical plant in southwestern Ontario has secured further funding for construction of the facility, this time a $7-million grant from the federally-funded Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).</p> <p>According to Minnesota-based BioAmber Inc., its joint venture succinic acid plant in Sarnia, Ont., received the funding from SDTC as construction of the $135-million plant continues.</p> <p>When complete, the facility will be Canada&rsquo;s first bio-chemical plant, and the world&rsquo;s largest succinic acid production plant.</p> <p>&ldquo;Commercializing an innovative, clean technology that is cost disruptive to the petrochemical industry is a major undertaking, and it needs government support to become a reality,&rdquo; BioAmber executive vice-president Mike Hartmann said in a statement.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are making chemicals cleaner and cheaper than the petrochemical route, and this will translate into lasting environmental and economic benefits for Canada.&rdquo;</p> <p>The $7-million grant from SDTC is in addition to another $7.5-million grant BioAmber Sarnia Inc. received from the government-funded not-for-profit organization in 2012, and just days after it announced&nbsp;a $20-million loan from a consortium&nbsp;led by Export Development Canada (EDC).</p> <p>According to BioAmber, the additional SDTC financing was secured after the scope of the Sarnia plant was expanded, with production capacity nearly doubling to 30,000 tonnes annually from 17,000 tonnes.</p> <p>The SDTC grant also supports the switch to BioAmber&rsquo;s second-generation yeast, according to the company, which it claims proved to be &ldquo;significantly more cost competitive&rdquo; than the original bacteria-based fermentation slated to run at the plant.</p> <p>A joint venture between BioAmber and Japan&rsquo;s Mitsui &amp; Co., Ltd., the plant will see more than 90 per cent of its 30,000-tonne annual capacity exported.</p> <p>BioAmber said it has &ldquo;secured significant demand&rdquo; for production, particularly in Asia, where it has signed a take-or-pay deal with PTT MCC Biochem Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. and Thai state-owned PTT Public Co. Ltd., for the guaranteed sale of roughly 20 per cent of the plant&rsquo;s capacity.</p> <p>The company said it has also signed 19 supply and distribution agreements and eight memorandum of understanding that, when combined, exceed the plant&rsquo;s annual capacity.</p> <p>Produced using corn-derived feedstock, succinic acid is used to manufacture paints, plastics, resins, de-icers, pharmaceuticals, solvents, food additives, fabrics and cosmetics.</p> <p>The process replaces the conventional production method that uses petrochemicals and is carbon neutral.</p>

SOURCE: Cleantech Canada