Biorefinery, Investments, Partnership, Press Release

Verdezyne to build diacids plant in Malaysia

Verdezyne, Inc., a privately-held industrial biotechnology company focused on producing renewable chemicals, has reached an agreement with Bio-XCell Malaysia to construct Verdezyne’s first commercial-scale renewable chemicals manufacturing facility in Bio-XCell’s premier biotechnology and ecosystem park in Nusajaya, Iskandar, in southern Malaysia.

Construction is scheduled to start next year and the plant will be capable of producing approximately 30 million pounds per year of diacids, including dodecanedioic acid (DDDA). Verdezyne claims the facility will be the world’s first bio-based plant for the production of DDDA.

The exchange of agreement ceremony took place during the official opening ceremony of “BioMalaysia: Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2014 Conference & Exhibition,” and was attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Verdezyne Bio-XCell press conference

The multi-faceted agreement includes:

  • Leasing a 6.9-acre site owned by Bio-XCell in Malaysia’s premier biotechnology park located in Nusajaya, Iskandar, Malaysia, 30 minutes’ north of Singapore. The 13-year, renewable lease provides for expansion options on other adjacent lots, and all major utilities will be supplied by Bio-XCell.
  • A loan of approximately $75 Million (approximately RM 250 Million) from Bio-XCell.

Bio-XCell expects to secure RM1.86 billion [approximately $555 Million] in investment by year-end with a couple more companies in the pipeline. Bio-XCell is being developed as a regional hub for industrial biomanufacturing and bioprocessing in Malaysia.

From what the blog remembered, companies that had recent announced activities in Malaysia includes Elevance Renewable Sciences, and Genomatica. METablic EXplorer abandoned its bio-PDO project with Bio-XCell when SK Chemicals exclusively licensed the technology, with plans for production in South Korea instead. Glycos Biotechnologies is supposedly going to start operating its glycerol-based isoprene this year but there had been no recent announcement on the status of this project.

As for the diacids market especially DDDA, I will cover this more comprehensively (including my Q&A with Verdezyne) on Tecnon OrbiChem’s Bio-Materials newsletter this month.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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