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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1202

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News NatureWorks and

News NatureWorks and BioAmber form JV NatureWorks and BioAmber (both Minnesota, USA) have announced the creation of AmberWorks, a joint venture to bring new performance bio-based polymer compositions to market. Gaïalene plant fully operational. The Roquette Group, one of the world leaders in the processing of raw vegetable materials, is now becoming a major plant-based plastics player. It has successfully launched its first industrial production unit (25,000 tonnes) for GAIALENE ® plant-based plastics end of 2011 at its main site in Lestrem (Pas-de-Calais, France). After several years of investment in research & development, the Roquette Group has developed a range of plant-based plastics that are now available in industrial quantities under the Gaïalene brand. These unique Gaïalene plant-based plastics are produced with a patented technology from locally grown cereals. They have a particularly low carbon footprint and are veritable carbon traps thanks to their vegetable origin and what is more they are totally recyclable at the end of their service lives in the existing sectors. The resins are used in the conventional processes to be found in the plastics technology such as the production of films, injection moulded parts and small bottles. In order to serve the European market, where there is a big demand for products with a low carbon footprint, the Roquette Group chose to set up its first industrial production unit for GAÏALENE on its main site at Lestrem in northern France. The reason for this location is also to have the benefit of the upstream integration of plant-based resources within the biggest biorefinery in Europe. www.gaialene.com The joint venture builds on the natural synergy between the two. Beyond its Ingeo PLA technology platform, NatureWorks brings to the joint venture a global commercial presence, established customer relationships, developed applications across a breadth of industries and deep experience in commercializing new-tothe-world polymers. BioAmber owns PLA/PBS compounding intellectual property and applies award-winning biotechnology and chemical processing to produce renewable chemicals. These renewable chemicals deliver high-performance, low-carbonfootprint building blocks that are cost competitive with their petrochemical equivalents. The joint venture combines the best of both companies into an entity tasked with developing a new family of bio-based compounded polymer solutions. With the formation of the joint venture, NatureWorks plans to commercialize a new family of compounded Ingeo resin grades. This new family of developmental Ingeo compounded resins is designed for food service ware applications, expanding the Ingeo property range in terms of flexibility, toughness, heat resistance, and drop-in processability on existing manufacturing equipment. Based on market interest, further formulated solutions optimized for a number of different applications beyond food service will be assessed over the coming 12 to 24 months. Compounded PLA/PBS resin grades, developed and manufactured by AmberWorks, will be marketed exclusively through the NatureWorks global commercial organization as new and distinct solutions within the company’s Ingeo portfolio of products. “The new product range being developed by the joint venture enables NatureWorks to broaden its existing product portfolio, allowing for bio-based product solutions in applications that were previously difficult to address,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO, NatureWorks. “The properties of PLA and PBS are complementary and making compounds using both materials will result in a broad and attractive property profile...” “The AmberWorks JV builds on BioAmber’s core business: the production of cost competitive, renewable chemicals that include succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol,” said Jean-Francois Huc, president and chief executive officer, BioAmber. “Our novel PBS compounding technology has enabled us to forward integrate into polymers and our partnership with NatureWorks, the global market leader in biopolymers, will strengthen and accelerate market access for our growing portfolio of renewable solutions.” MT www.natureworksllc.com www.bio-amber.com 8 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/12] Vol. 7

News Metabolix Provides Business Update Metabolix (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) plans to launch its business in PHA biopolymers under a new commercial model. Richard Eno, CEO of Metabolix: “(Since January) we are in discussions with about 15 potential offtake partners, and considering about 10 different manufacturing options. (In response to) questions including the timing of a partnership, possible structures, and the resulting financial implications (…) we need some time while we work through the option set so that we can provide solid information on our commercial model as we go forward. Metabolix has retained a core team in biopolymers to provide continuity with the technology, manufacturing process and markets during this period of transition. In addition, the Company is working closely with customers to understand their product needs. With more than 5 million pounds of product inventory available, Metabolix expects it will have adequate product inventory to supply core customers with PHA biopolymer until new inventory becomes available and to continue product development in high value-added applications. Eno: “We remain enthusiastic and committed to successfully commercializing the Mirel family of PHA biopolymers,” and in a conference call he continues: “from the customer and market perspective, the previous approach was very broad-based. This was due to the large scale of the ADM plant and widespread market interest in PHAs. What we now plan to do is focus on the high valued opportunities, which we have identified through our time in the market. The initial design of the ADM plant was about 50,000 tons per year. We are developing a market-entry opportunity in the 10,000 ton per year range. The technology base that was deployed at Clinton was a 2006-era technology-base, which performed well at a world-class industrial scale. However, since 2006 the technology has continued to advance rapidly, and there are numerous elements that were not yet installed at Clinton. Going forward, we would see elements of this 2012 technology-base being deployed. What does that mean? We expect lower capital, improved yields, and experience we bring from across the entire value chain, from fermentation right down through final product fabrication. With the combination of high valued segments, a smaller scale plant and new process technology, we expect to approach cash break-even much sooner than under the previous model. (…) As a leader in the development of bio-based polymer technology, Metabolix has assembled a broad intellectual property portfolio covering key elements of making and using advanced biomaterials, including biopolymer blends. For areas outside of our technical and commercial focus, we are amenable to licensing arrangements that provide Metabolix the opportunity to receive licensing income, and pave the way for the introduction of new materials to the marketplace. With that interest, we recently issued a sub-license under a University of Massachusetts patent we control for biopolymer blends to NatureWorks, a global leader in the PLA biopolymers industry. This intellectual property helps NatureWorks expand the market for bioplastics, through blending its PLA product with other bioplastics.- MT CAN YOU GUARANTEE THE ORIGIN OF RENEWABLE PRODUCTS ? Vinçotte, leader in bioplastics certification www.okbiobased.be YOUR REPUTATION IS MINE. bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/12] Vol. 7 9

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