During President Obama’s trip to Malaysia this weekend, the country’s conglomerate giant, Sime Darby Berhad, announced that it will take a 30% stake, valued at $30 million, in San Diego-based renewable chemical company, Verdezyne.
Sime Darby Renewables, a new unit under Sime Darby Plantation, will spearhead this initiative essentially focusing on converting traditional and non-traditional palm-based commodities into products of higher value.
Verdezyne said it will use this investment to fund research and development in the United States. The two companies will cooperate on developing a new facility that will convert palm oil waste into valuable industrial chemicals.
Sime Darby plans to emerge as the single largest investor in Verdezyne, together with existing investors BP Alternative Energy, Royal DSM, a global life sciences group; OVP Venture Partners and Monitor Ventures. According to Sime Darby, the company has healthy financial prospects.
The blog recently posted Verdezyne’s milestone production. Verdezyne began operations in 2005 and has chosen Malaysia as its manufacturing hub which motivated them to obtain the BioNexus status in September 2013.
Verdezyne’s planned first commercial plant in Malaysia will have an annual capacity in excess of 13,000 metric tons, and is expected to generate approximately 140 knowledge workers in the fields of R&D and engineering.