5 Oktober 2012

Developments in Malaysia

METabolic EXplorer and Bio-XCell took joint decisions to pursue the plant construction project, determine the outlines of a new contractual framework and to put in place a new form of guarantee by METabolic EXplorer to replace the bank guarantee

METabolic EXplorer, a green chemistry company that specializes in the development of bioprocesses for the production of chemical compounds used in a wide range of everyday products (textile fibres, paints, solvents, animal feed supplements, adhesives, etc.), and Malaysian Bio-XCell (Bio-XCell), the developer of the Bio-XCell biotechnology park and ecosystem in the Iskandar region of Malaysia, are providing an update on the solution adopted to pursue construction of the METabolic EXplorer plant.

Agreement and release of METabolic EXplorer’s RM 23.2m (€5.5m) bank guarantee
Bio-XCell’s decision to modify the technical approach to soil conditioning, which is necessary to resume construction of the plant, has affected the construction schedule. As a consequence, METabolic EXplorer and Bio-XCell have agreed to pursue their cooperation under a re-negotiated contractual framework.

Accordingly, the two partners have signed an agreement allowing for a maximum of seven months to establish the technical and contractual measures needed to enable the project to proceed properly.

In addition to signing the agreement to suspend the contract, Bio-XCell has released the RM 23.2m (€5.5m) bank form of guarantee to METabolic EXplorer. In return, METabolic EXplorer has committed to providing a new guarantee, at the end of the seven-month period, that does not draw on available cash. These commitments respectively paved the way to complete the agreement on suspending the contract, which reflected a shared determination to bring this industrial project to a successful conclusion.

A period of no more than seven months, comprising three main stages

  • finalising the analyses prior to soil conditioning by December 2012 at the latest. Bio-XCell will take charge of this analysis, which will consist of validating the new approach by Bio-XCell
  • redefinition of contractual conditions, to be completed by end-February 2013. This stage is designed to amend the existing contract to reflect the newly agreed terms, especially the financial terms, to take into account the schedules for plant construction and commissioning
  • completion of soil conditioning work by end April 2013. This stage, to be borne by Bio-XCell, aims at resuming the construction of the PDO plant.

Conclusion
METabolic EXplorer is reaffirming its determination to be one of the first entrants in Asia to produce and supply productsbased onits technologies, and active discussionsare underwaywith other potential partners in this region of the world, where demand for PDO keeps growing. Alongside Bio- XCell slated to be the new regional biotech hub in Asia, is firmly building Malaysia’s ecosystem for industrial and healthcare biotechnology. Despite the challenges encountered, the shared determination of both parties in addressing them, will see to successful completion of this industrial project.

About METabolic EXplorer
METabolic EXplorer is a biological chemistry company which was incorporated in 1999. Its goal is to help industrial businesses deal with the projected rise in oil prices, so that they can continue to manufacture but in a sustainable way.
Based on the tried and tested principle of industrial fermentation, METabolic Explorer’s solutions replace today’s petrochemical processes with the use of a wide range of plant-based raw materials. By optimizing the metabolic yield of non-pathogenic bacteria in a contained, controlled environment, the company facilitates the production of chemical compounds used in a wide range of everyday goods (textile fibres, paints, solvents, plastics and animal feed).
METabolic EXplorer is currently focusing its alternative processes on the production of five compounds that together have an estimated, annual, end-market value of €11 billion. The company’s strategy will be implemented in forms such as own-account developments (ie, manufacturing plants) in geographically strategic regions and via limited exclusivity industrial partnerships in the shape of joint ventures and licences.
METabolic EXplorer, based in Clermont-Ferrand, France, is listed on EURONEXT PARIS (EURONEXT C, METEX) and features in CAC Small.

About Bio-XCell
Bio-XCell, a biotechnology park and ecosystem dedicated to healthcare and industrial biotechnology is being developed byMalaysian Bio-XCell Sdn Bhd, a joint venture company formed between Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation and property developer UEM Land Berhad.
Bio-XCell is strategically located on 160 acres in Nusajaya, within the Iskandar region of Johor, Malaysia, and close to the border with Singapore providing global connectivity through a network of five seaports and two international airports, all within 59 km.
Bio-XCellhas been planned to offer an environment conducive for the development and manufacturing of biologics, pharmaceuticals, bio-based / green chemicals and other solutions to heal, fuel and green the world.
As a managed park, Bio-XCell will provide its clients and investors with a range of value added benefits including comprehensive infrastructure, high speed internet access, park maintenance and security as well as core facilities to nurture the ecosystem.
Key facilities of the park include the Central Hub and Central Utilities Facility (CUF). The Central Hub is a centrally located, multipurpose complex featuring a business centre, auditorium, lab & office space as well as amenities such as F&B and retail outlets. The CUF will provide specialised utilities for biomanufacturing to the park’s clients. As an alternative to building a customised facility, clients can also locate their operations in one of the ready-built standard shell buildings which can be fitted out to suit the specific operational needs of the client.

Source: METabolic EXplorer, press release, 2012-10-05.

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