PTTMCC Biochem Company Limited (PTTMCC) is a joint venture established by Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Japan's leading chemical company and PTT Public Company Limited, Thailand's largest oil and gas company. The joint venture will produce and sell polybutylene succinate (PBS), a biodegradable plastic made from succinic acid and 1,4 butanediol (BDO). PTTMCC is constructing a PBS plant in Rayong, Thailand that will have an annual production capacity of 20,000 tons. The PBS plant is expected to be operational in the first half of 2015 and will consume approximately 14,000 tons of succinic acid per year at full capacity.
BioAmber, who has been producing bio-based succinic acid in a large-scale facility in France since January 2010, plans to supply PTTMCC from the new 30,000 ton per year plant that is currently under construction in Sarnia, Canada. That facility, the first to be built pursuant to BioAmber's joint venture agreement with Mitsui & Co., is located in a bio-industrial park owned by Lanxess. The site is co-located in a large petrochemical hub with existing infrastructure that facilitates access to utilities and certain raw materials and finished product shipment, including steam, electricity, hydrogen, water treatment and carbon dioxide. BioAmber plans to further expand production by 20,000 metric tons in 2016, bringing total annual capacity to 50,000 metric tons.
After the commissioning and start up periods for the succinic acid plant in Ontario, and the Thailand-based PBS plant, both of which are scheduled for 2015, BioAmber will exclusively supply a minimum of 80% of PTTMCC's total bio-succinic acid needs until the end of 2017. The take-or-pay volumes committed by PTTMCC over the three-year term represent approximately half of the total annual quantity of bio-succinic acid that PTTMCC plans to purchase from BioAmber.
PTTMCC's selection of BioAmber as supplier validates bio-succinic cost competitiveness and quality, according to BioAmber.
"This first succinic acid take-or-pay agreement is an important milestone for BioAmber," said Babette Pettersen, BioAmber's Chief Commercial Officer. "This contract guarantees significant sales volume for our Sarnia plant during its first three years of operation. PTTMCC is a major new buyer of bio-succinic acid and locking up this substantial volume commitment will strengthen our market leadership," she added.