Big green chemical news

Doris de Guzman reported on the latest green chemical news

So many news came out today and I haven’t had a sip of my already-lukewarm coffee yet!

First stop, Elevance and France-based specialty chemical company Arkema announced that the companies partnered to develop and produce renewable-based specialty plastics. Elevance will supply the raw material such as its 9-decenoic methyl ester from their biorefineries (one being built in Indonesia via its Wilmar partnership, and another being planned in Natchez, Mississippi).

Not much information was released on the types of plastics the companies are developing. Arkema has long been developing bioplastics and in fact, the company is one of the biggest producer of castor-based polyamides. The blog interviewed Arkema in 2010 about their renewable-based materials strategy.

For more on Elevance partnerships with different chemical companies, you can check out the blog’s coverage of their IPO filing last year.

Our next news is from Genomatica and Japan chemical firm Mitsubishi Chemical announcing their negotiation for a joint commercial operation in Asia in the production of bio-butanediol (BDO) using Genomatica’s process technology.

Mitsubishi made an up-front $3.5m payment to Genomatica while they are working on the kinks of the deal, which is expected to finalize by the end of June 2012. It seems like a long time for these two to work things out though. Not much information was disclosed on this announcement so I guess the blog have to wait between now and June.

The companies have been looking to partner not only in the production of bio-BDO in Asia but also in the development of other green intermediate and basic chemicals. Mitsubishi has also been part of Genomatica’s $45m series C funding acquired last year.

More on Genomatica’s recent partnership here from their IPO filing last year.

Finally, Amyris (which cancelled its presentation at the Jefferies Clean Technology conference last week), announced today that it was able to secure a $83.7 additional financing through private placements of its common stock and from convertible debts.

The $58.7 private placement at $5.87 per share came from existing investors Temasek Holdings, Total Gas and Power USA, Naxyris SA and new investors Biolding Investment SA, an entity affiliated with John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and somebody affiliated with director Fernando Reinach (who?).

The common stock transaction included a commitment on the part of Biolding to invest an additional $15 million in common stock upon satisfaction by Amyris of criteria associated with the commissioning of Amyris’s Paraíso Bioenergia SA production plant in Brazil by March 31, 2013

Amyris is expected to report its 4Q and 2011 financial report today after the market closes. Everybody is waiting for this announcement give the company’s recent gloomy news about scrapping their second industrial-scale production plans in Leon, Spain.

By the way, BioAmber also announced last week while I was busy covering the Jefferies conference that it was able to get $30m in its series C financing coming from current investors Naxos Capital, Soffinova Partners, Mitsui, and the Cliffon Group (all in total of $20m) as well as specialty chemical firm Lanxess (contributed $10m).

LANXESS will be joining the BioAmber board of directors and has named Jorge Noguiera as its board representative.


ICIS Green Chemicals, 2012-02-27.


BioAmber Inc.
Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc.
Geno (formerly Genomatica, Inc.)
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Lanxess AG
Mitsubishi Chemical
Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Naxos Capital Partners
Temasek Holdings


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