BioAmber Sarnia Ships First Succinic Acid

22.10.2015 -

BioAmber Sarnia, bio-succinic acid production joint venture of the Minnesota, USA-based company with Mitsui & Co of Japan, has begun operating its manufacturing plant in Sarnia, Canada, at commercial scale and is shipping first test quantities to customers.

Claimed to be the world’s largest succinic acid manufacturing facility, the $145 million plant at Sarnia has capacity to produce 30,000 t/y in its final stage. Production volumes are to be ramped up progressively to reach full capacity in 2017.

The US renewable feedstock producer said the fermentation performance of its proprietary yeast at the Canadian site is significantly above the initial targets set for 2015, and the yield and productivity levels already exceed the targets the plant was designed to react longer term. It added that the bio-succinic acid being produced is of higher quality than that of its demonstration plant in France.

Fabrice Orecchioni, BioAmber's chief operations officer, said the company also has the prospect of better operating margins than originally projected.

BioAmber already has a number of big-name clients for its bio-succinic acid. Most recently, Covestro, the former Bayer MaterialScience, began commercializing a new range of polyurethanes for textiles incorporating the product. Prominent clients in the US, China, Thailand and Turkey have also signed supply agreements.

The US company’s route to succinic acid is claimed to consume considerably less energy than production using fossil fuels, as well as being more cost-effective and having a better carbon footprint.