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 Bio-XCell Malaysia, the promoter tasked with the construction of the plant and biotechnology infrastructure in the Iskandar Region, Johor State in Malaysia, are making the following joint announcement.
After setting out in March this year the conditions required for continuing METabolic EXplorer’s plant construction project in Malaysia, the two partners are announcing that they have reached an agreement on the terms and conditions by which the parties would cooperate to resume construction operations of the plant.
The project standstill has been lifted, enabling the launch of a new call for tenders aiming at resuming construction operations in late September 2013.
The scope of the call for tenders is extended to include the latest improvements developed by METabolic EXplorer in its French pilot plant. The industrial 1,3 Propanediol (PDO) production process has been improved upstream with adaptations enabling the use of raw glycerines of different origins and qualities, as well as downstream with additions enabling to co-produce roughly 2,000 metric tons per year of butyric acid, used in the production of fragrances and animal feed additives.
In parallel with these new developments, the productivity of the PDO process is expected to generate a 10% increase of the unit’s PDO capacity up to 8,900 metric tons per year. This will significantly improve the units’ cash flow generation, thereby enabling Bio-XCell to finance the needed additional capital expenditure (roughly €8 million, for a new total of roughly €38 million).
As part of Bio-XCell‘s requirements in securing METabolic Explorer’s effective takeover of the unit at completion date, METabolic EXplorer France will provide a corporate guarantee with an amount of around €7.3 million. The signature of this corporate guarantee will not impact its current available cash at hand.
The completion for the plant construction is expected to be by end of 2014 as per schedule.
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 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 three compounds that together have an estimated, annual, end-market value of €7 billion. The company’s strategy will be implemented in forms such as own-account developments (ie, manufacturing plants) in geographically strategic regions and via 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.
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 biomanufacturing to the park’s clients. As an alternative to building a customised facility, clients canalso 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.
METabolic EXplorer / ATTITUDE Corporate
Eric de Lambert
Tel.: +33 (0)1 4970 4341 / +33 (0)6 2529 0658
Dzalman Dato’ Zainal / Strategic Communications
Tel: +6012 220 5569
Source: METabolic EXplorer, press release, 2013-06-10.