Quincy, Massachusetts -- Myriant Corp. of the US and Japan's Sojitz Corp. are creating a sales and marketing partnership to distribute bio-based succinic acid in Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan.
The two firms said they will sell the material in that region for uses including polyurethanes, plasticisers, polymers and solvents.
The deal will exploit Myriant's succinic acid manufacturing platform and Sojitz's strong market presence, the companies said.
Sojitz, a $50 000 million company, "has a strong presence in chemical sales and marketing and distribution throughout Asia with over 25 sales offices," said a 9 Nov statement from the companies.
Bio-succinic acid is a growing sector: this announcement follows recent news of a a manufacturing joint venture between BioAmber and Mitsui to develop capacity globally for 165 ktpa of succinic acid and 123 ktpa of butanediol (BDO).
Myriant expects Sojitz's presence "to drive significant long term value for our biobased succinic acid platform produced in the Territory," said Dr Cenan Ozmeral, chief operating officer of Myriant. Sojitz already sells a wide array of biobased chemicals, he added.
"Our plan is to set up a commercial bio-based derivatives plant that we expect to come online in 2015," said Mr Izutani, general manager of Functional Materials and Fine Chemicals Department of Sojitz. This would, he said, consume 150 million lb of Myriant's bio-based succinic acid. A Myriant spokesman said that while the company's capacity is currently only 30 million lb, plans are in hand to increase this to meet the level of demand Sojitz is talking about.
"By gaining access to Myriant's biobased succinic acid, Sojitz will be in a position to grow its business of green chemical derivatives. We have spent over two years analyzing various technologies for production of biobased succinic acid, and after a detailed review we found, with high confidence, that Myriant has the most cost effective process while delivering the highest quality product," Izutani added.
Quincy, Massachusetts-headquartered Myriant broke ground in December 2010 on a 30-million lb per annum capacity (13 kilotonnes per annum) commercial succinic acid facility in Lake Providence, Louisiana.
Myriant has agreements with Uhde GmbH for engineering, and Davy Process Technology for the integration of Myriant's succinic acid process with the Davy process to make bio-based BDO. It also has an agreement with PTT Chemical to commercialise Myriant's technology in South-east Asia.
PTT is also involved in BioAmber/Mitsui's planned Thai plant to make succinic acid.