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DNP Green Technology bags green chemistry pioneer Bioamber S.A.S

17.11.2010

Pomacle/Minneapolis – US company DNP Green Technology and French Agroindustrie Recherches et Developpements (ARD) have restructured their successful joint venture Bioamber S.A.S, the world’s first company manufacturing the chemical building block succinic acid using a biotechnological CO2-consuming process from renewable instead petrochemical resources. According to the companies, DNP Green Technology acquired 100% of the shares in Bioamber, and ARD became a shareholder in DNP Green Technology, which will be renamed Bioamber Inc. „This was the right moment to restructure our joint venture“, said Jean‐Francois Huc, CEO of DNP Green Technology. „Our collaboration has evolved into a business which demands rapid commercialization of bio-based succinic acid, in order to take full advantage of our position as first to market. Both partners felt that this could best be achieved through DNP Green. According to both companies, Bioamber Inc will take over full responsibility of commercialization. ARD focus will be on process optimization in the plant and the scale up of a next-generation organism producing succinic acid.
In January, Bioamber had started a bio-succinic acid plant with an annual production capacity of 2,000 metric tons in Pomacle near Reims. According to Bioamber’s former managing director, Patrick Piot, Bioamber is targeting a EUR210m world market of approximately 30,000 metric tonnes per year that is expected to grow rapidly. Simple chemical conversion to 1.4 butane-diol opens up another market opportunity of 1.3 million tonnes per annum. Bioamber does not plan to build larger plants. Instead, the company’s business model is to outlicense the technology to industrial partners.
Several chemistry firms, including Mitsubishi Chemical Corp/Ajinomoto, Royal DSM/Roquette, and BASF/Purac, have also established fermentation processes to produce succinic acid with the help of metabolically engineered bacteria. While Mitsubishi and DSM are yet to produce on a pilot scale, German world market leaders BASF kicked off 2009 a 4,000 tonne/year commercial production plant with its partner Purac near Barcelona but the start of industrial production has been delayed, according to the companies.

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