BioAmber signs BDO deal for planned 100,000-ton plant

Contract with Vinamar guarantees 100% of the output will be sold for 15 years.

January 23, 2014   by PLANT STAFF

SARNIA, Ont. — BioAmber Inc., an industrial biotechnology company that produces sustainable chemicals, has signed a take-or-pay contract for bio-based 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) with Vinmar International, a marketing and project development company.

Under the terms of the 15-year master off-take agreement, Houston-based Vinmar has committed to purchase 100% of the BDO produced in a 100,000 ton per year capacity plant that BioAmber plans to build somewhere in North America and commission in 2017.

BioAmber will be obligated to sell exclusively to Vinmar, which also plans to invest in the BDO plant, taking a minority equity stake of at least 10%.

BDO is a building block chemical used in a wide range of products, including engineering plastics for the automotive industry, polyurethanes, biodegradable plastics and spandex.

BioAmber, a French company with succinic acid operation in Sarnia, Ont., pegs the current size of the global market at about $4 billion.

BioAmber produces BDO by combining its succinic acid technology with a catalyst technology licensed from DuPont. The company says its bio-based BDO is competitive with petroleum derived BDO.

Its Sarnia site is co-located in a large petrochemical hub with existing infrastructure. When operational, it will have and initial capacity of approximately 17,000 metric tons of bio-succinic acid and is to be operational in 2013.

Total capacity will be approximately 34,000 metric tons of bio-succinic acid and 23,000 tonnes of bio-based 1,4 BDO.

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