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martes, 20 de diciembre de 2016

BioAmber and CJCJ plan to establish a JV in China to produce up to 36 kton/year of bio-succinic acid

Recent news about one of the main actors in the bio-succinic acid arena (learn more about succinic acid biorefineries). BioAmber Inc. is trying to penetrate the Asian market and, to this end, it has signed a non-binding letter of intent with South Korean-based CJ CheilJedang Corporation ("CJCJ"), a subsidiary of the CJ Group. Under the terms of the agreement, BioAmber and CJCJ plan to establish a joint venture in China to produce up to 36,000 metric tons of bio-succinic acid annually and commercialize the output in Asia (see the press release).

The goal is to retrofit an existing CJCJ fermentation facility with BioAmber's technology to market bio-succinic acid in China rapidly, cost effectively and with a relatively low investment. CJCJ would incur all capital costs required to retrofit its fermentation plant, including the capital needed during plant commissioning and startup. Production would begin in Q1 2018. If market demand were to subsequently exceed production capacity, the joint venture could expand it. The partners would also have a mutual right-of-first-refusal to retrofit additional CJCJ fermentation facilities globally (CJCJ operates in the United States, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil).

Figure 1. Succinic acid biorefinery of BioAmber in Sarnia (extracted from BioAmber web page)

CJCJ would own 65% of the JV and BioAmber would own 35%. The JV would pay BioAmber a royalty for having access to its bio-succinic acid technology and would pay CJCJ a tolling fee for producing bio-succinic acid on its behalf. Both partners would be entitled to a share of the profits equal to their respective equity ownership positions.

The proposed joint venture is subject to certain conditions, including technical and commercial due diligence, with the definitive agreements expected to be signed by July 2017. As part of the letter of intent, BioAmber will be selling bio-succinic acid manufactured at its Sarnia plant to CJCJ so that it can undertake market development in China and South Korea in the first half of 2017.

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