BioAmber has been producing bio-succinic acid in a large-scale facility in France since January 2010. The facility is one of the largest bio-based manufacturing fermenters in the world thanks to its 350,000 liter commercial-scale fermenter. BioAmber has entered into a partnership with Mitsui & Co. for a global-scale manufacturing facility in Sarnia, Ontario, and the companies intend to build two additional facilities.
BioAmber currently produces bio-succinic acid at a facility in Pomacle, France, which is owned by ARD and was built at a reported cost of €21.0 million. The facility is integrated into an existing bio-refinery that supplies the bio-succinic acid plant with glucose, carbon dioxide, steam, ammonia and process water.
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
The planned facility in Sarnia, Ontario, the first facility to be built pursuant to BioAmber’s joint venture agreement with Mitsui & Co., is located in a bio-industrial park owned by Lanxess. The site is co-located in a large petrochemical hub with existing infrastructure that facilitates access to utilities and certain raw materials and finished product shipment, including steam, electricity, hydrogen, water treatment and carbon dioxide. The facility will have initial capacity of approximately 30,000 metric tons of bio-succinic acid and is expected to be mechanically complete in 2014. BioAmber plans to further expand production by 20,000 metric tons in 2016, bringing total annual capacity to 50,000 metric tons.
Additional Planned Manufacturing Facilities
We have entered into an agreement with Mitsui that contemplates the potential construction and operation of two additional facilities beyond Sarnia. We expect these facilities to produce bio-based 1,4 BDO, THF and/or GBL, with the exact ratio of such end products being a function of the demand we secure.
We plan to start up a toll manufacturing plant in the US in late 2014 that will have an annual production capacity of approximately 2,000 to 4,000 1,4 BDO. Several companies have been identified that have the infrastructure, know-how and purification equipment needed to convert our bio-succinic acid to bio-based 1,4 BDO on a toll manufacturing basis. We plan to design and install a proprietary hydrogenation reactor at the selected toll manufacturer, provide catalyst produced by Evonik, and supply bio-succinic acid produced initially in France and subsequently in Sarnia.
We then plan to build a large-scale integrated 1,4 BDO plant with Mitsui that will produce bio-succinic acid and then further transform the bio-succinic acid into bio-based 1,4 BDO and GBL and eventually derivative products including pyrrolidones. Based on current estimates and assumptions, we expect this commercial scale manufacturing facility to have a projected initial bio-based 1,4 BDO / GBL capacity in the range of 50,000 to 100,000 metric tons and be mechanically complete in 2016 or 2017.