This follows the announcement on August 18, 2011 of a letter of intent between the companies. Novamont will have a majority of the equity in the JV, and Genomatica a minority interest. Novamont, a leading producer of biodegradable bioplastics, will consume the BDO for its own internal use to meet the increasing demand for its biopolymer products that incorporate BDO as a key monomer.
Under the agreement, Novamont is converting an existing facility in Adria, Italy to use Genomatica’s BDO process. Novamont is financing the plant conversion and will operate the plant, which is expected to have a production capacity of approximately 40 million pounds per year. Initial production is expected in 2013.
Novamont has committed to purchasing all of the output from the plant, while Genomatica may purchase a portion at its discretion to support further market development. The agreement also contemplates Novamont building and operating a second BDO plant using Genomatica’s process, which is expected to use biomass sugars as the renewable feedstock.
“Genomatica’s BDO process provides Novamont with BDO made from renewable feedstocks, which is consistent with our business strategy to use more bio-based raw materials in MATER-BI biopolymer products. Genomatica’s BDO is the exact same chemical we’ve been using, and is the direct equivalent of petroleum-based BDO but with a smaller environmental footprint,” said Novamont CEO, Catia Bastioli.
“Genomatica’s process technologies enable a new approach to chemical production – smaller-scale, capital-efficient manufacturing from renewable feedstocks that we believe fulfills customer needs across the value chain,” said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. “Novamont is a leader in one of the most rapidly-growing polymer segments of the BDO market and has demonstrated its ability to accelerate commercialization of innovative polymers, along with its commitment to sustainable development.”