Additional Federal Grant Announced for Sarnia Plant

The Sarnia Observer (July 2, 2014) -- BioAmber has secured a $7-million federal grant for a bio-succinic acid plant it's building in Sarnia.
The Montreal-based company said Wednesday in a press release that the grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is in addition to $7.5 million the federally-funded agency provided in 2012. The Sarnia project has received other government loans and support, including $10 million announced earlier this year by Agriculture Canada.
BioAmber is spending $135 million to build a 30,000-tonne capacity plant on Vidal Street in Sarnia where it will use sugar from corn to product bio-succinic acid, a building-block chemical used in plastics, cosmetics and other products.
The plant is expected to be completed in early 2015 and have a permanent staff of 60 workers.
"Commercializing an innovative, clean technology that is cost disruptive to the petrochemical industry is a major undertaking, and it needs government support to become a reality," said Mike Hartmann, BioAmber's executive vice-president.
"We are making chemicals cleaner and cheaper than the petrochemical route, and this will translate into lasting environmental and economic benefits for Canada."
The company said it secured the additional SDTC funding after expanding the scope of the Sarnia project, nearly doubling the plant's planned capacity and increasing the number of jobs it will create.
The new funding also supports the company's move to use a second-generation yeast expected to be more cost competitive than the bacteria-based fermentation originally designed for the Sarnia plant.
- Observer Staff, Sarnia Observer