Mitsui Increases Stake in BioAmber Sarnia

15.02.2016 -

Japanese conglomerate Mitsui has acquired an additional 10% stake in Canada-based BioAmber Sarnia, its joint venture with renewable feedstock producer BioAmber. The fresh capital injection of CDN$25 million increases the Japanese partner’s stake to 40%.

In future, Mitsui has said it plans to play a stronger role in the commercialization of bio-succinic acid produced in Sarnia, adding marketing capacity to BioAmber’s team. The Plymouth, Minnesota, USA-based partner plans to retain its 60%.

The $145 million succinic acid plant 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.

“Mitsui is continuously committed to renewable chemistry, and through our increased equity stake we will be more actively involved in joint venture management and sales, leveraging our global sales platforms,” said Hidebumi Kasuga, general manager of the company’s Specialty Chemicals Division.

“We are very happy with Sarnia’s fermentation and plant operations performance to date and the jv has received quality certifications from more than 90 customers, Kasuga said, adding: “With this progress, I am confident that Sarnia’s bio-succinic acid will be penetrating the global marketplace quickly.”

Jean-Francois Huc, CEO of BioAmber, said the Japanese company’s investment “strengthens Sarnia’s balance sheet as we ramp up production and sales.”