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Myriant starts production at flagship bio-succinic acid plant

Myriant Corporation, a global renewable chemicals company, announced the successful start-up at its flagship bio-succinic acid plant located in Lake Providence, Louisiana. Myriant has produced on-spec commercial product at the plant and anticipates that customer shipments will commence soon. Myriant’s bio-succinic acid plant is the first of its kind and scale in North America and has an annual nameplate production capacity of 30 million pounds of bio-succinic acid.

Given the positive metrics we’ve achieved to date at Lake Providence and most recently at ThyssenKrupp Uhde’s commercial validation plant in Leuna, Germany, and, combined with our team’s depth of expertise in building and operating fermentation plants, we expect a relatively smooth transition to steady-state operations. As is always the case when bringing chemical plants online, it will take some time to achieve our full production rate, but we are confident about the reliability of our core technology platform.

—Stephen J. Gatto, Chairman and CEO

Myriant’s Lake Providence Commercial Facility is partially funded through a $50 million cost sharing cooperative agreement received from the United States Department of Energy (DOE), $25 million from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development B&I Loan Guarantee Program and a $10 million grant from the Lake Providence Port Commission and the Louisiana Department of Transportation. Heartland Bank is recognized by the USDA as the Lender of Record for the B&I Loan Guarantee.

Globally, the annual worldwide market for succinic acid is estimated at approximately $7.5 billion in new and existing applications. Succinic acid, which is traditionally produced from petroleum, can be used in a wide variety of applications including polymers, urethanes, plasticizers and coatings. Myriant’s high purity bio-succinic acid is made from renewable feedstocks and is chemically equivalent to petroleum-based succinic acid while providing a lower environmental footprint. Myriant’s bio-succinic acid reduces harmful green house gas emissions by 94% compared to petroleum-derived succinic acid and by 93% compared to petroleum-derived adipic acid, a chemical that succinic acid can replace.

Myriant is currently commercializing its bio-succinic acid platform from two operating chemical plants: the flagship plant in Lake Providence, LA; the other, a commercial validation facility located in Leuna, Germany, which is operated by Myriant’s global partner, ThyssenKrupp Uhde.

Myriant, together with Johnson Matthey - Davy Technologies (JM Davy), combined the efficiencies of their respective chemical processes for the production of cost-competitive bio-BDO and bio-THF made from Myriant’s bio-succinic acid, yielding overall carbon efficiency of 87%. Myriant is also advancing its proprietary, low-cost, high-purity process for bio-acrylic acid.

Myriant commercialized D(-) lactic acid in 2008 for the production of polylactic acid (PLA), which is used to make biodegradable plastic.


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