MINNEAPOLIS, MN, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - BioAmber, a next-generation chemicals company, and Mitsui & Co., a leading global trading company, have partnered to build and operate the previously announced manufacturing facility in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The initial phase of the facility is expected to have production capacity of 17,000 metric tons of biosuccinic acid and commence commercial production in 2013. The partners intend to subsequently expand capacity and produce 35,000 metric tons of succinic acid and 23,000 metric tons of 1,4 butanediol (BDO) on the site. Bioamber and Mitsui also intend to jointly build and operate two additional facilities that, together with Sarnia, will have a total cumulative capacity of 165,000 tons of succinic acid and 123,000 tons of BDO. BioAmber will be the majority shareholder in the plants.
BioAmber and Mitsui plan to build and operate a second plant in Thailand, which is projected to come on line in 2014. The partners are currently undertaking a feasibility study for the Thailand plant with PTT MCC Biochem Company Limited, a joint venture established between Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and PTT Public Company Limited. BioAmber and Mitsui & Co. also plan to build and operate a third plant, located in either North America or Brazil, which will be similar in size to the Thailand project.
The partners are combining their respective strengths. BioAmber has developed a proprietary technology platform that combines industrial biotechnology, an innovative purification process and patented catalysts to convert renewable feedstocks into chemical that are cost effective replacements for petroleum-derived chemicals. BioAmber is currently producing and selling succinic acid at a plant in France and has proven the quality and cost competitiveness of its technology without subsidies, using commercial scale fermenters. Mitsui & Co. is one of the largest general trading companies in the world, with a broad presence in the global chemicals market. In addition to its extensive distribution capabilities and market access, Mitsui & Co. is strongly committed to the renewable chemicals industry and has secured renewable feedstock in Brazil, Thailand and other countries as part of its strategic focus on renewable chemicals. In the year ending March 31, 2011, Mitsui had total revenues of $55 billion and net income of $3.6 billion. The company has over 40,000 employees on a consolidated basis and operates 153 offices in 65 countries.
"Our goal is to play a leading role in the growth of renewable chemicals, as evidenced by our recent joint ventures with BioAmber in North America for biosuccinic acid and The Dow Chemical Company in Brazil for biochemicals," said Masanori Ikebe, General Manager of Mitsui's Specialty Chemicals Division. "We believe that biosuccinic acid and bio-BDO will experience rapid growth over the next decade, and BioAmber's technology leadership is an excellent fit with Mitsui's strength across the supply chain," he added.
"BioAmber's partnership with Mitsui & Co. is a strong endorsement of our technology platform," said Jean-Francois Huc, CEO of BioAmber. "Mitsui is an ideal partner thanks to its long-term commitment to renewable chemistry, its extensive reach into chemical markets and its strategic access to sustainable feedstocks. Mitsui also has the financial strength to support our expansion and help us compete internationally," he added.
About Mitsui & Co.
Mitsui & Co. Ltd. is one of the largest general trading companies in the world, with 153 offices in 65 countries. Utilizing these global operating locations, networks and information resources, Mitsui is multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects in the following fields; Iron & Steel products, Motor Vehicles, Marine & Aerospace, Chemicals, Energy, Food & Retail, Consumer Service, Information, Electronics and Telecommunications, Financial Markets and Transportation Logistics. For more information visit: www.mitsui.co.jp/en
About BioAmber Inc.
BioAmber is a next generation chemicals company. Its proprietary technology platform combines industrial biotechnology, an innovative purification process and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstocks into chemicals for use in a wide variety of everyday products including plastics, food additives and personal care products. BioAmber produces bio-succinic acid in what it believes to be one of the world's largest bio-based chemical manufacturing facilities. For more information, see www.bio-amber.com.
SOURCE BIOAMBER INC.