Genomatica, Novamont target commercial bio-butanediol by late 2012

24 August 2011 15:19  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The initial commercial quantities of biomass-based butanediol (BDO) from Europe's first BDO plant should be produced by late 2012, the joint-venture partners behind the project, San Diego-based Genomatica and Italy-based Novamont, said on Wednesday.

Industrial biotechnology startup Genomatica and biodegradable bioplastics producer Novamont have signed a letter of intent to convert an existing, as yet unspecified, industrial site in Italy into a 20,000 tonne/year plant that would use Genomatica's BDO production processes and renewable feedstocks.

Novamont would consume the BDO for captive use to meet increasing demand for its products, although Genomatica would retain an option on a proportion of the output, the companies added.

Additionally, the terms of the agreement provide for Novamont to invest the capital for the construction of the plant and Genomatica to deliver the basic engineering package for implementation of its BDO production processes, along with technology transfer and engineering support.

"Genomatica's BDO process, in Novamont's view, is ready for scale-up and also looks sustainable from the economic point of view," said Novamont CEO, Catia Bastioli.

"The scale-up of Genomatica's BDO process will support the growth of Mater-Bi bioplastics in line with Novamont's strategy of integrated biorefineries reviving de-industrialised sites," he added.

"Genomatica's processes enable a new approach to chemical production – smaller scale, capital-efficient manufacturing from renewable feedstocks that fulfill a broad range of customer needs across the value chain," said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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