26 April 2011

BioAmber Partners with Mitsubishi Chemical in Succinic Acid

Combined strengths to establish a dominant, low-cost succinic acid production platform

BioAmber Inc. has joined forces with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in the field of biobased succinic acid, in a strategic agreement that makes BioAmber and its Asian distribution partner Mitsui & Co. the exclusive suppliers of biobased succinic acid to Mitsubishi Chemical. The three companies are also conducting a feasibility study to build a succinic acid production facility next to Mitsubishi’s planned PBS production plant in Thailand.

BioAmber and Mitsubishi Chemical will also incorporate elements of Mitsubishi’s succinic acid technology into BioAmber’s biosuccinic platform. The goal is to produce low cost succinic acid that will drive down the manufacturing cost of Mitsubishi Chemical’s patent protected polybutylene succinate (PBS), a renewable, biodegradable polymer. BioAmber has begun to supply Mitsubishi Chemical with biobased succinic acid produced in Europe. BioAmber has also secured the right to source biobased PBS from Mitsubishi Chemical for its modified PBS polymers, which are marketed through BioAmber’s Sinoven Biopolymers subsidiary.

“BioAmber and Mitsubishi have brought together their respective succinic technologies and combined strengths to establish the dominant, low-cost succinic acid production platform, and our collaboration with Mitsui & Co. will help deploy our succinic acid technology rapidly and globally,” said Jean-Francois Huc, CEO of BioAmber.

“Our partnership with BioAmber is an integral part of our PBS market development strategy,” said Shigeru Handa, General Manager of Mitsubishi Chemical’s Sustainable Resources Business Development Department. “We believe BioAmber has the best-in-class succinic acid technology that we can further improve. Partnering with BioAmber will drive down the cost of our PBS, make it over 50% renewable and accelerate sales growth,” he added.

“This partnership is an excellent example of value chain integration,” added Ray Balee, the President of BioAmber’s Sinoven Biopolymers subsidiary. “Thanks to its strong patent portfolio, Mitsubishi Chemical will be a dominant player in the field of biobased PBS. Our partnership with Mitsubishi ensures that BioAmber’s customers will have access to competitively-priced, modified PBS that is renewable and has freedom to practice.”

About BioAmber Inc.
BioAmber, a renewable chemistry company, is the market leader in the development and commercialization of biobased succinic acid and derivatives including modified PBS, a biodegradable plastic offering better heat resistance and processability than other biopolymers. BioAmber operates the world’s only dedicated biobased succinic acid plant and has partnerships with market leaders including Cargill, DuPont Applied Biosciences, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Chemical. BioAmber is leveraging its succinic acid experience and know-how to also develop a biobased adipic acid platform. The company has offices and research labs in Minneapolis, MN, an office in Montreal, a sales office in Shanghai, China and a production plant in Pomacle, France.

About Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
Mitsubishi Chemical Group is Japan’s major chemical group and offers a wide variety of products and solutions in three business domains – performance products, health care, and chemicals. We believe “Sustainability”, “Health”, and “Comfort” are the key words in the 21st century society, and we aim to amalgamate our lineup of products and technologies into the power of “Chemistry” to greatly contribute to solving the problems that our global society faces.

Source: BioAmber, press release, 2011-04-26.


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