21 Dezember 2010

Elevance Renewable Sciences to spend $100M infusion on world’s biggest biorefinery

The Indonesian plant is scheduled to begin production by the end of 2011

A Bolingbrook startup, Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., has raised $100 million to help it complete what it says will be the world’s largest biorefinery, in Indonesia. The specialty-chemical company will also use its latest cash infusion to fund construction of a U.S. biorefinery, said CEO K’Lynne Johnson, a former chemicals executive with BP PLC.

Elevance began as a 2007 spinoff of agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. of Wayzata, Minn., with $40 million in cash and technology from Cargill, private-equity firm TPG Capital and Materia Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based refinery-tech outfit.

Elevance makes ingredients used in manufacturing personal care products, detergents, lubricants and other specialty chemicals, and fuel from renewable foodstocks.

The $100 million came from two units of Ft. Worth, Texas-based TPG, as well as Luxembourg-based Naxos Capital Partners and Total Energy Ventures International, the venture-capital arm of the French oil company Total S.A..

The Indonesian plant, a 50-50 venture with Wilmar International, is scheduled to begin production by the end of 2011, with plans to double output a few years later, Ms. Johnson said. Its initial annual capacity would be 50 million gallons of chemicals made from foodstocks such as palm, soy and rapeseed oils.

The price tag ranges between $30 million and $80 million.

Elevance employs 63 people, mostly in its southwest suburban headquarters.

(See related story: Green chemical firm Elevance teams with Stepan to create new product line)

Source: chicagobusiness.com, 2010-12-21.

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