NatureWorks and BioAmber Form Joint Venture to Commercialize New Bio-based Polymers
Two industry-leading companies join forces to expand the range of low carbon-footprint, high-performance, bio-based polymers
MINNETONKA and PLYMOUTH, Minn., 16 February 2012 — NatureWorks, the bio-plastics market leader with its commercial range of Ingeo™ biopolymers, and BioAmber, a next-generation chemicals company and a market leader in the commercialization of bio-succinic acid, have announced the creation of AmberWorks, a joint venture to bring new performance bio-based polymer compositions to market.
The joint venture builds on the natural synergy that exists between NatureWorks and BioAmber. 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-to-the-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-carbon-footprint 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, and is immediately offering samples of developmental grades aimed at thermoforming and injection-molding processes. 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 chief executive officer, NatureWorks. “The properties of PLA and PBS are complementary and making Ingeo compounds using both materials will result in a broad and attractive property profile for a number of different applications.”
“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.”
In the USA, developmental samples of the new Ingeo injection molding and thermoforming solutions for the food service industry are available from NatureWorks, www.natureworksllc.com, or write to email@example.com. While an assessment of the European Union chemical regulation REACH status is underway, research and development samples are available in Europe at NatureWorks Europe, +31 (35) 694 5056. The regulatory status of these grades in other geographies is under review.
NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available, low-carbon-footprint Ingeo biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers. In October 2011, Thailand’s largest chemical producer, PTT Chemical Public Company Limited, entered into an agreement to make a $150 million equity investment in NatureWorks. The transaction remains subject to regulatory clearances. For more information on NatureWorks and Ingeo, visit www.natureworksllc.com.
Ingeo™ and the Ingeo™ logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NatureWorks LLC in the USA and other countries.
BioAmber is a next generation chemicals company. Its proprietary technology platform combines industrial biotechnology, an innovative purification process and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstocks into chemicals for use in a wide variety of everyday products, including plastics, food additives and personal care products. BioAmber produces bio-succinic acid in what it believes to be one of the world’s largest bio-based chemical fermenters. For more information visit the company’s web site at www.bio-amber.com.