BioAmber, Vinmar broaden agreement on bio-BDO, succinic acid

07 July 2014 23:39 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--BioAmber and Vinmar International have reached an agreement on a 210,000 tonne/year take-or-pay contract for bio-based succinic acid, the companies announced on Monday.

Vinmar has committed to purchase and BioAmber Sarnia, a joint venture with Mitsui, has committed to sell 10,000 tonnes/year of succinic acid for 15 years from the 30,000 tonne/year plant BioAmber is building in Sarnia, Canada.

Also, the bio-chemical producer and Vinmar have broadened the scope of their previously announced 100,000 tonne/year 1,4 butanediol (BDO) plant, set to be built in North America at an undisclosed location and started up late in 2017.

Distributor Vinmar has committed to purchase and BioAmber has committed to sell all of the BDO produced from the plant for 15 years, the companies said.

The plant also will produce 70,000 tonnes/year of bio-succinic acid, of which Vinmar has agreed to purchase 70%.

Bio-BDO is produced by BioAmber in a process that combines its succinic acid technology with DuPont catalyst technology. BioAmber believes its bio-BDO is cost competitive with petroleum-derived BDO.

Meanwhile, Vinmar has committed to buy and BioAmber to sell at least 150,000 tonnes/year from a new third succinic acid plant following its construction and start-up, which is expected sometime in late 2020, the companies said.

The bio-succinic acid plant would have a capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year.

"This multi-plant deal is a quantum leap forward for our succinic acid business and sets a clear path for rapid growth," said Jean-Francois Huc, BioAmber's CEO.  "Securing off-take for three plants will help us to obtain project financing and accelerate the deployment of our platform.”

"Vinmar is committed to growing the market for bio-based chemicals, which have strong global trends favouring their development," said Serge Verma, president of Vinmar Projects. 

By Jeremy Pafford