BioAmber Inc., an industrial biotechnology company producing sustainable chemicals, announced that it has initiated commissioning activities for its 30,000-MT capacity bio-succinic acid plant located in Sarnia, ON, Canada. It is a significant milestone for BioAmber, and one that the company views as the beginning of a period of rapid growth.
Commissioning and start-up is expected to take approximately five months, said the company. While construction is projected to be completed in two months, BioAmber is carrying out commissioning and start-up activities in parallel. Jean-Francois Huc, Chief Executive Officer, explained: "During the commissioning phase, we will test the plant and get it running section by section, produce bio-succinic acid, qualify it with our customers and begin to sell product that meets specifications. We plan to be in full commercial operation in Q3 2015, by which time we can reliably supply customers including our take-or-pay contracts."
The cost of the project continues to track within the original budget estimate of US$125 million.
The Sarnia plant will be the world's largest succinic acid manufacturing facility, with an annual nameplate capacity of 30,000 metric tons. BioAmber has signed take-or-pay agreements with Vinmar and PTTMCC (a joint venture between PTT plc and Mitsubishi Chemical) that represent sales volumes of over 5,000 metric tons in 2015 and 15,000 tons in each of 2016 and 2017. BioAmber has also signed a number of supply agreements with non-binding volume commitments that collectively exceed the available capacity in the plant.
A further update on the commissioning and start up plan will be provided during the company's upcoming earnings call scheduled for March 12, 2015, at 4:30 PM ET.