Solazyme, Bunge form JV to produce triglyceride oils for oleochems

03 April 2012 15:31  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US bio-products company Solazyme and agribusiness Bunge have formed a joint venture to produce sugarcane-based triglyceride oils for use in oleochemical and fuel applications in the Brazilian market, they said on Tuesday.

Solazyme and Bunge said the joint venture - Solazyme Bunge Produtos Renovaveis - would build a plant with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year of oil next to Bunge's sugarcane mill at Moema in Brazil's Minas Gerais state.

The plant will use Solazyme's renewable tailored-oil production technology while Bunge will supply the sugarcane. Start-up is expected for the second half of 2013, they said. 

The plant will be integrated with an existing cogeneration unit at Moema. Its capacity can be expanded in line with market demand, the companies said. 

“Bunge is excited to partner with Solazyme to commercialise its innovative sugar-to-oil technology platform, which will enable us to link our sugar and vegetable oil value chains,” said Ben Pearcy, chief development officer of Bunge.

“The tailored oils we expect to produce will not only expand our portfolio and address the growing demand of the fuels and oleochemicals industries, but also increase our capabilities to leverage new technologies for future opportunities in sugar and bioenergy,” Pearcy added.

The companies did not disclose how much money they expect to invest in the project.

Solazyme and Bunge first announced plans for the project in May 2011.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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