Comet and BioAmber Agree Dextrose Supply

20.04.2016 -

US renewable materials specialist BioAmber has signed an agreement with Canada’s Comet Biorefining for the supply of high-purity dextrose from Comet’s planned commercial-scale plant in Sarnia, Ontario. The dextrose produced from agricultural residues using the Canadian firm’s technology will feed BioAmber’s $145 million industrial scale bio-succinic acid plant at Sarnia, which started up last year.

The two companies previously worked together on BioIndustrial Innovation Canada’s recently completed cellulosic sugar study, and BioAmber took an undisclosed equity stake in Comet in 2015. Jean-Francois Huc, CEO of the US firm, will now join the company’s board of directors. As part of the offtake deal, Comet also has agreed to supply dextrose to future BioAmber manufacturing facilities and award the Minnesota -based company certain exclusive rights in the fields of succinic acid, 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and tetrahydrofuran (THF). 

Comet said its technology enables sugars to be produced competitively from biomass rather than corn or cane-derived sugars. It added that its facilities can also be built on a smaller scale, allowing greater flexibility for companies to locate production closer to biomass supplies and thus lower a region’s greenhouse gas footprint. The Canadian biorefiner operates a demonstration scale plant in Rotondella, Italy, owned by ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy, and Sustainable Economic Development. 

Comet is currently in the process of building a bioeconomy hub at Sarnia, close to plentiful biomass. The company said it plans to build, own and operate its own plants – a 60 million lb / year commercial sugar plant has been announced for start-up in 2018 – and will strategically license its technology to select partners on a worldwide basis to meet the growing demand for bio-based products.