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BASF & CSM Collaborate to Produce Bio-based Succinic Acid for Bioplastics

SpecialChem / Aug 2, 2011

BASF SE and Purac, a subsidiary of CSM has announced the start of negotiations to form a joint venture for the production of bio-based succinic acid. The companies have been conducting research under a joint development agreement on bio-based succinic acid since 2009. The complementary strengths in fermentation and downstream processing led to the development of a sustainable and highly efficient manufacturing process based on a proprietary microorganism. The demand for succinic acid is anticipated to grow strongly in the next years. Main drivers are expected to be bioplastics, chemical intermediates, solvents, polyurethanes and plasticizers.

"We are happy to bring our partnership with Purac to the next level," said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, Member of the Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director of BASF. "Until now our partnership has been very successful, and moving towards a joint venture will strengthen our goal to become the leading supplier in the succinic acid market."

"We aim to be the first commercial producer in the market with a 25,000 tons capacity fermentation production plant at the Purac site near Barcelona, Spain, with the intention to start up by 2013 at the latest," said Gerard Hoetmer, Chief Executive Officer of CSM. "In addition, we are already planning a world-scale plant with a capacity of 50,000 tons to account for the expected demand growth. This partnership has enormous potential as it leverages the combined competencies of two leading companies in their fields."

During the existing cooperation critical steps of the jointly developed production process have been validated in several successful production campaigns. The resulting volumes were used to evaluate the market. "After successfully testing the BASF in-house applications we are now able to make large volumes available for external customers," said Dr. Thomas Weber, Managing Director of BASF Future Business GmbH with regard to the recent industrial production campaign in June 2011. "The goal is to globally provide a high product quality and offer security of supply to the customers," Fabrizio Rampinelli, Managing Director of Purac, added. "Through this bio-based succinic acid collaboration we aim to add another important new growth-pillar to our bio-based polymers and green chemical business."

About BASF Future Business GmbH

BASF Future Business GmbH, a 100 percent subsidiary of BASF SE, was founded in April 2001. It aims to open up business areas with above-average growth rates that lie outside BASF's mainstream activities. The company focuses on chemistry-based new materials, technologies and system solutions. BASF Future Business GmbH commissions research from BASF's R&D units but also cooperates with startup companies, industrial partners, universities and potential customers. Other alternatives include the acquisition of direct stakes, joint ventures with partner companies or provision of venture capital via the subsidiary BASF Venture Capital GmbH.

About BASF

BASF is one of the world's leading chemical companies. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and agricultural products to oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of about Euro 63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year.

About Purac

Purac is one of the leading companies in lactic acid based chemistry and the worldwide market leaders in lactic acid, lactic acid derivatives and lactides. Purac is innovation driven and develops new products, technology and services in close cooperation with customers and knowledge centers. Purac has almost 80 years of experience in the development, manufacturing and marketing of its products in a broad range of industries. Purac operates production plants in the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil and Thailand and markets its products through a worldwide network of sales offices and distributors. Purac is headquartered in The Netherlands and is part of CSM.

About CSM

CSM is one of the global market leaders in lactic acid and lactic acid derivatives and is one of the largest suppliers of bakery products worldwide. CSM operates in business-to-business markets throughout Europe, North America, South America, and Asia, generates annual sales of Euro 3 billion and has a workforce of around 9,700 employees in 28 countries.

Source: BASF


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