BioAmber Inc., through its subsidiary Bluewater Biochemicals has selected Sarnia, Ontario, Canada as the location for its first North American biosuccinic acid plant. The Sarnia plant will have an initial capacity of 17,000 MT and will be commissioned in 2013. Permitting work for the plant was initiated in June 2011. BioAmber currently produces and sells biobased succinic acid at a 3,000 MT capacity plant in France.
Succinic acid is a renewable, non‐toxic specialty chemical that can be further modified to make a wide range of products including automotive parts, biodegradable coffee cup lids and disposable cutlery, spandex, shoe soles, ingredients for food, flavors and fragrances, cosmetics, construction materials, phthalate‐free plasticizers, engine coolants, salts that melt ice and snow and plastics used in various durable goods. BioAmber plans to double capacity in Sarnia by 2014 through the introduction of a next‐generation yeast being developed with Cargill. BioAmber also plans to produce 1,4‐Butanediol (BDO) on the site, using technology exclusively licensed from DuPont that coverts succinic acid to BDO, a chemical with a $4 billion existing market. The goal is for the Sarnia plant to produce 35,000 MT of biosuccinic and 23,000 MT of biobased BDO at its peak.
Ontario and Canadian ministries and agencies recognized BioAmber’s market leading succinic acid technology, providing the company with CAD $35 million in grants and loans to locate in Sarnia. Support was secured from the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development and Trade (MEDT), Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and the Canadian Sustainable Chemistry Alliance. The plant’s first phase will spur substantial regional economic growth, generating 150 construction jobs and 40 full time jobs. Additional jobs are expected as capacity is increased and BDO production comes on line, and as investments are made in additional manufacturing that can transform locally produced biosuccinic acid into value added products.
“Sarnia has tremendous potential as a sustainable chemistry cluster. The unique combination of chemical infrastructure, skilled labor, educational facilities, competitive transportation costs and proximity to some of Canada’s richest agricultural land makes Sarnia an excellent choice,” said Mike Hartmann, Executive VP of BioAmber. “These provincial and federal programs have put Ontario and Canada at the forefront of sustainable development and in strong position to compete globally for foreign investment by renewable chemical and material companies. These programs were instrumental in BioAmber’s decision to invest in Ontario,” he added.
Source: BioAmber, press release, 2011-08-29.