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BioAmber receives C$7M grant from SDTC; switch to 2nd gen yeast

6 July 2014

BioAmber’s Canadian subsidiary BioAmber Sarnia Inc., a joint venture with Mitsui & Co., has secured a C$7-million grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The funds will be used to support the ongoing construction of the C$135 million (US$125 million) bio-succinic acid plant that is under construction in Sarnia, Ontario. (Earlier post.)

This grant comes in addition to the $7.5-million grant that SDTC provided to BioAmber Sarnia in 2012. BioAmber secured this additional funding after expanding the scope of the Sarnia plant, nearly doubling the production capacity from 17,000 metric tons to 30,000 metric tons per year, and increasing the number of jobs that will be created.

The SDTC grant also supports the switch to BioAmber’s second-generation yeast, which proved to be significantly more cost competitive than the bacteria-based fermentation originally designed to operate in Sarnia.

When completed in early 2015, the Sarnia plant will be the world’s largest succinic acid production facility. Succinic acid is a renewable, non‐toxic specialty chemical that can be further modified to make a wide range of products including automotive parts, biodegradable coffee cup lids and disposable cutlery, spandex, shoe soles, ingredients for food, flavors and fragrances, cosmetics, construction materials, phthalate‐free plasticizers, engine coolants, salts that melt ice and snow and plastics used in various durable goods.

BioAmber has secured significant demand for the plant, including a take-or- pay contract with PTTMCC Biochem, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Chemical of Japan and PTT PCL of Thailand, which guarantees the sale of approximately 20% of total plant capacity. In addition, BioAmber has signed 19 supply and distribution agreements and 8 memorandum of understanding, which collectively represent demand that exceeds the plant’s annual capacity.

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