Solazyme expanding renewable oil production capacity with JV partner Bunge, signs strategic collaboration agreement with ADM
Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company, and Bunge Global Innovation LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bunge Limited, a leading global agribusiness and food company, signed an agreement expressing their intent to expand their joint venture-owned oil production capacity at Solazyme Bunge Renewable Oils from the current 100,000 metric tons under construction in Brazil to 300,000 metric tons by 2016 at select Bunge owned and operated processing facilities worldwide. (Earlier post.)
Separately, Solazyme and Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, a leading global agricultural processor, signed strategic collaboration, manufacturing and market development agreements in which Solazyme and ADM will produce Solazyme’s tailored algal oils in ADM’s advanced fermentation plant at Clinton, Iowa.
Bunge JV. The companies also intend to expand the portfolio of oils to be produced out of their joint venture facility in Brazil. The expanded field and portfolio of oils would include certain tailored food oils for sale in Brazil, where Bunge is the largest supplier of edible oils through several of its retail brands.
The parties anticipate negotiation of definitive agreements in the coming months.
ADM collaboration. The algal oils produced in Clinton will be sold primarily to the industrial and nutritional markets in North America. Under the terms of the agreement, Solazyme will initially target the production of 20,000 metric tons of oil in 2014, with an aim to increase production to 100,000 metric tons in subsequent years.
ADM’s wet mill, which is adjacent to the fermentation plant, will initially provide dextrose for the fermentation; and steam and power will be delivered from ADM’s cogeneration facility that is partially fired with renewable biomass.
This agreement with Solazyme allows us to profitably redeploy a world-class manufacturing asset that was previously used for PHA production and has been idle since January 2012. Solazyme has a portfolio of products for food and industrial applications that we think makes this collaboration an excellent option for this facility.—Mark Bemis, ADM senior vice president and president, Corn
Minor retrofitting and permitting for the Clinton fermentation plant will begin immediately. Commercial production is expected to begin in early 2014.
Solazyme uses heterotrophic microalgae—i.e., they grow in the dark (in fermenters) by consuming sugars derived from plants that have already harnessed the sun’s energy. Using standard industrial fermentation equipment, Solazyme can scale and accelerate microalgae’s natural oil production time to just a few days and at commercial levels.
Further, Solazyme can design and produce novel tailored oils that cannot be achieved through blending of existing oils alone. Solazyme’s renewable products can replace or enhance oils derived from the world’s three existing sources: petroleum, plants and animal fats. Initially, Solazyme is focused on commercializing its products into three target markets: (1) fuels and chemicals, (2) nutrition and (3) skin and personal care.