US Solazyme to invest $200m IPO proceeds in algae-based projects

03 June 2011 21:15  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Solazyme will invest the $200m (€138m) it raised in its initial public offering (IPO) to fund algae-based oil projects, the CEO of the San Francisco-based renewable oils and bio-products firm said on Friday.

Solazyme began listing its shares on the US NASDAQ stock exchange this week.

CEO Jonathan Wolfson said Solazyme will use the IPO funds to expand its capacities for algae-based oils and to develop additional oils for the chemical, nutritional, detergent and soap, jet-fuel and other markets.

Access to the stock market will help Solazyme to further boost its renewable oil technologies, he added. He did not comment on the specifics of the planned projects.

In its prospectus, Solazyme said it is working to build an “integrated bio-refinery” for renewable fuels and chemicals derived from microalgae at Peoria, Illinois, where it recently bought a commercial production facility. The bio-refinery project is supported by the US Department of Energy.

In addition, Solazyme has completed detailed engineering designs for large commercial plants to service its fuels and chemical markets, it said.

The company believes that with its technology, its algae-based oils for fuels and chemical markets can be produced at a cost below $3.44/gal (€0.63/litre), “if produced in a built-for-purpose commercial plant”, it said.

Solazyme's partners to develop algae-based chemicals, fuels and oils include Bunge and Dow Chemical among others.

Existing Solazyme stakeholders include US agribusiness firm Bunge, energy major Chevron and consumer products firm Unilever.

Solazyme's share price was up 4.1% at $22.87 on the NASDAQ at 14:52 hours New York time (18:52 GMT). For the IPO, Solazyme had priced the shares at $18.00/share.

($1 = €0.69)

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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