Novamont, Genomatica forming European JV for bioplastics
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Italy-based Bioplastics producer Novamont has signed a letter of intent to set up a European joint venture with chemical developer Genomatica.
According to the companies, the JV will lead to the first industrial plants in Europe producing butanediol (BDO) from renewable feedstocks.
BDO is used industrially as a solvent and in the manufacture of some types of plastics, including in Novamont’s Mater-Bi family of bioplastics.
The first plant is expected to have a production capacity of approximately 40 million pounds per year and will be located in Italy. The companies intend to convert an existing industrial site to use San Diego, Calif.-based Genomatica’s BDO production processes to begin production of this intermediate chemical by the end of 2012, they said. Key terms of the letter of intent include that Novamont will provide the capital needed for construction of the first plant.
“Genomatica’s BDO process, in Novamont’s view, is ready for scale-up and also looks sustainable from the economic point of view,” Novamont CEO Catia Bastioli said in a statement.