BioAmber Inc. has opened a Sarnia-based facility that will produce renewable chemicals from sugar instead of petroleum. The new plant, part of the burgeoning bio-industrial cluster of Sarnia Lambton, will be the world’s largest of its kind.
Using innovative biotechnology, the $141.5 million plant will produce biobased succinic acid from glucose sourced from southern Ontario agricultural suppliers.
The venture was a joint effort with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and received support from the federal government and Ontario government through the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure’s Strategic Jobs and Investment Fund.
Production is expected to result in 30,000 tonnes of succinic acid annually, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 100 per cent compared to the equivalent production process that uses petroleum.
“We’re excited that our renewable chemicals made from sugars are making everyday applications around the world more sustainable,” said JF Huc, chief executive officer of BioAmber. “We believe our disruptive biotechnology is going to profitably deliver benefits for the environment, our customers, our shareholders and the Sarnia Lambton community.”
About 60 full-time jobs were created, including plant operators who are local Lambton College graduates.