BioAmber Inc., through its subsidiary Bluewater Biochemicals has selected Sarnia, Ontario, Canada as the location for its first North American biosuccinic acid plant. The Sarnia plant will have an initial capacity of 17,000 MT and will be commissioned in 2013. Permitting work for the plant was initiated in June 2011. . BioAmber plans to double capacity in Sarnia by 2014 through the introduction of a next-generation yeast being developed with Cargill. BioAmber also plans to produce 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) on the site, using technology exclusively licensed from DuPont that converts succinic acid to BDO, a chemical with a US$4 bln existing market. The goal is for the Sarnia plant to produce 35,000 MT of biosuccinic and 23,000 MT of biobased BDO at its peak.
BioAmber currently produces and sells biobased succinic acid at a 3,000 MT capacity plant in France. Succinic acid is a renewable, non-toxic specialty chemical that can be further modified to make a wide range of products including automotive parts, biodegradable coffee cup lids and disposable cutlery, spandex, shoe soles, ingredients for food, flavors and fragrances, cosmetics, construction materials, phthalate-free plasticizers, engine coolants, salts that melt ice and snow and plastics used in various durable goods. Ontario and Canadian ministries and agencies recognized BioAmber’s market leading succinic acid technology, providing the company with CAD $35 mln in grants and loans to locate in Sarnia. Support was secured from the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development and Trade (MEDT), Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and the Canadian Sustainable Chemistry Alliance.