Solazyme, Bunge to build renewable oil facility in Brazil

by World Grain Staff
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WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK, U.S. — Solazyme, Inc. and Bunge Global Innovation LLC announced on April 3 that they and other Bunge subsidiaries have formed a joint venture  to build, own and operate a commercial-scale renewable tailored oils production facility adjacent to Bunge’s Moema sugarcane mill in Brazil.

The joint venture, which will operate under the name Solazyme Bunge Produtos Renováveis Ltda., will have an expected annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes of oil. The facility will utilize Solazyme’s renewable tailored oil production technology, coupled with Bunge’s sugarcane supply and processing capabilities, to produce sustainable tailored triglyceride oils for use in oleochemical and fuel applications in the Brazilian domestic market. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

“Bunge is excited to partner with Solazyme to commercialize its innovative sugar-to-oil technology platform, which will enable us to link our sugar and vegetable oil value chains,” said Ben Pearcy, managing director, Sugar & Bioenergy, and chief development officer, Bunge Limited. “The tailored oils we expect to produce will not only expand our portfolio and address the growing demand of the fuels and oleochemicals industries, but also increase our capabilities to leverage new technologies for future opportunities in sugar and bioenergy.”

“The joint venture’s commercial-scale production facility in Brazil will provide Solazyme with the capacity we need to produce renewable tailored oils to meet the strong demand we’re seeing in our initial target markets,” said Jonathan Wolfson, chief executive officer, Solazyme. “As a leader in oilseed processing and sugarcane milling, Bunge brings crucial expertise and scale to the table. Their global presence in sugar and vegetable oil markets, large-scale processing experience and significant footprint in Brazil, coupled with our advanced fermentation technology, creates a powerful alliance in the rapidly emerging area of tailored oils.”

The facility, which will be equally financed by Solazyme and Bunge, has been designed to integrate with a new cogeneration unit at the Moema mill, and can be expanded for further production in line with market demand. Startup is expected in the second half of 2013.

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