DuPont buys stake in Statoil's Norferm to form bioprotein jv

Source: ICIS News


LONDON (CNI)--US chemicals giant DuPont announced on Thursday that its bio-based materials business is acquiring a 50% stake in Statoil subsidiary Norferm to create a joint venture aimed at developing the Norwegian bioprotein firm’s business.

The new joint venture, which will be called Norferm AS, will focus on developing new, high-value products for the animal feed markets and fermentation industry. It will be based in Stavanger, Norway, with research and development (R&D) facilities in Odense, Denmark and Wilmington, Delaware, where DuPont has developed advanced bio-based technologies using methane as a raw material.

Norferm currently produces protein products for the fish-farming market under the BioProtein brand at its methane-based fermentation facility in Tjeldbergodden, Norway.

Statoil will contribute the operations of its Norferm production facility to the joint venture and DuPont will support research to further develop high-value products that can be produced at the Tjeldbergodden plant. The US group will also provide sales and marketing support.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Norferm chairman Martin Sigmundstad said: "This agreement will help strengthen Norferm considerably as a company with cutting-edge expertise in biotechnology. DuPont carries considerable weight on the research side of biotechnology, while we can contribute knowledge of production technology."

The joint venture is scheduled to take effect in the second quarter, subject to European Union (EU) regulatory approval.