WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK, U.S. — Solazyme, Inc. and Bunge Global Innovation LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bunge Limited said on June 26 that they have broken ground on a 100,000 tonne renewable oil production facility adjacent to Bunge’s Moema sugarcane mill in Brazil.
Construction started on schedule and the plant is targeted to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2013. Additionally, Hildo Henz, an experienced engineer who has led major refinery projects during his career, has been appointed general manager of the joint venture, which was formed in April and will operate under the name Solazyme Bunge Produtos Renováveis Ltda.
Henz brings over 20 years of experience in operations and management to his new role. Previously, he was the engineering director at Brenco, a Brazilian renewable energy company, where he led greenfield projects in excess of $500 million.
Prior to Brenco, Henz was chief executive officer (CEO) of Alberto Pasqualini - REFAP S/A, a Petrobras/Repsol joint-venture refinery in Brazil, where he led its $1.3 billion expansion. He had previously served as a strategic planning manager at Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro, where he implemented new refining technologies.
“Our joint venture with Solazyme is off to a strong start and we continue to build excitement about the renewable oil product opportunities that will emerge from the partnership. Breaking ground at Moema and adding Hildo as General Manager are great indications of our joint commitment to the sugar-to-oils platform and we look forward to continued progress,” said Ben Pearcy, managing director of sugar & bioenergy and chief development officer, Bunge Limited.
“We are very happy to have broken ground on our Solazyme-Bunge joint venture facility on schedule and are also greatly pleased to have brought Hildo on board to run the JV. Hildo brings an unparalleled level of expertise that will enable successful plant commissioning and operations,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme. “He is a top-tier seasoned executive who has built, overseen and launched large manufacturing businesses and we are fortunate to have him as the general manager.”