16 Februar 2012

NatureWorks and BioAmber Form Joint Venture to Commercialize New Bio-based Polymers

Range extension of low carbon footprint, high-performance, bio-based polymers

NatureWorks, the bio-plastics market leader with its commercial range of Ingeo™ biopolymers, and BioAmber, a next-generation chemicals company and a market leader in the commercialization of bio-succinic acid, have announced the creation of AmberWorks, a joint venture to bring new performance bio-based polymer compositions to market.

The joint venture builds on the natural synergy that exists between NatureWorks and BioAmber. Beyond its Ingeo PLA technology platform, NatureWorks brings to the joint venture a global commercial presence, established customer relationships, developed applications across a breadth of industries and deep experience in commercializing new-to-the-world polymers. BioAmber owns PLA/PBS compounding intellectual property and applies award-winning biotechnology and chemical processing to produce renewable chemicals. These renewable chemicals deliver high-performance, low-carbon-footprint building blocks that are cost competitive with their petrochemical equivalents. The joint venture combines the best of both companies into an entity tasked with developing a new family of bio-based compounded polymer solutions.

With the formation of the joint venture, NatureWorks plans to commercialize a new family of compounded Ingeo resin grades, and is immediately offering samples of developmental grades aimed at thermoforming and injection-molding processes. This new family of developmental Ingeo compounded resins is designed for food service ware applications, expanding the Ingeo property range in terms of flexibility, toughness, heat resistance, and drop-in processability on existing manufacturing equipment. Based on market interest, further formulated solutions optimized for a number of different applications beyond food service will be assessed over the coming 12 to 24 months.

Compounded PLA/PBS resin grades, developed and manufactured by AmberWorks, will be marketed exclusively through the NatureWorks global commercial organization as new and distinct solutions within the company’s Ingeo portfolio of products.

“The new product range being developed by the joint venture enables NatureWorks to broaden its existing product portfolio, allowing for bio-based product solutions in applications that were previously difficult to address,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and chief executive officer, NatureWorks. “The properties of PLA and PBS are complementary and making Ingeo compounds using both materials will result in a broad and attractive property profile for a number of different applications.”

“The AmberWorks JV builds on BioAmber’s core business: the production of cost competitive, renewable chemicals that include succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol,” said Jean-Francois Huc, president and chief executive officer, BioAmber. “Our novel PBS compounding technology has enabled us to forward integrate into polymers and our partnership with NatureWorks, the global market leader in biopolymers, will strengthen and accelerate market access for our growing portfolio of renewable solutions.”

Source: Marketwatch, Press Release, 2012-02-16.

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