December 30, 2012

Production updates: Novamont, Solazyme, Amyris

Aside from Reverdia, several other biobased chemicals production milestones were announced this month such as from Solazyme and Amyris. Novamont did not actually put out an announcement (not in English anyway) but there had been several Italian news reports about the company's bio-based 1,4 butanediol (BDO) activities worth mentioning -- thank you Google Translate!

First stop is Solazyme's announcement on December 13 where the company said it has successfully completed multiple initial fermentations at ADM's Clinton, Iowa, facility. The fermentations were conducted in 500,000-liter vessels, 4x the scale of the vessels in Solazyme's Peoria facility.

ADM Clinton, Iowa, plant

Solazyme it is targeting 20,000 tonnes/year production of its algae-based tailored oils using corn dextrose (for feeding the algae) at the ADM facility starting early 2014, and expects to expand to 100,000 tonnes/year in subsequent years. Solazyme is currently constructing a 100,000 tonne/year facility in Moema, Brazil, under the Solazyme-Bunge joint venture, which is expected to begin operation in Q4 2013.

The key question here, as posed by analyst Lawrence Alexander of Jefferies & Company in a recent equity report, is whether the expertise used at Clinton can be extrapolated to the Moema site.

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