May 8, 2012

Dutch CSM focuses on biobased chems

 Finals week is looming ahead and before I get bogged down with studying, let me post some of these recent news that came my way this week.
First is from Dutch food ingredients company CSM, the parent company of lactic acid producer Purac. CSM announced yesterday that it is leaving its global bakery products business and focusing instead on bio-based ingredients serving end-markets in food, chemicals and polymers.
The company said it will start divesting its its North American and European Bakery Supplies businesses leaving only its Purac and Caravan Ingredients businesses, which had combined 2011 sales of EUR 704m ($914m). The combined business will target growth opportunities in new lactic acid applications such as bioplastics, animal health and nutrition, as well as next-generation biobased alternatives for petroleum-based materials.
If readers recall, Purac currently has a joint venture 25,000 tons/year succinic acid project with BASF located in Purac's site near Barcelona, Spain. The facility is expected to start next year. The companies are also planning a 50,000 tons/year succinic acid capacity although no timeline has yet been announced.
Purac also started this year its new 75,000 lactide plant in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, which will produce lactide monomers for biobased resins and plastics.
The Caravan Ingredients business produces specialty ingredients including lactic acid based emulsifiers, functional blends containing enzymes and fortification ingredients.
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