Elevance, Genting deal confirms it: Asia is the new Brazil

July 14, 2014 |

AsiaElevance and Genting Enter New Biorefinery Collaboration, in Malaysia.

Elevance exclusively responsible for sale of all specialty chemicals produced at biorefinery.

What’s going on in the Big East?

We hear from Illinois that Elevance Renewable Sciences is announcing a 25:75 collaboration between Elevance and Genting Plantations Berhad — aimed at building a 240,000 MT metathesis biorefinery based on Elevance’s proprietary metathesis technology, and will produce renewable, high-performance olefins and specialty chemicals that can be used in multiple end-product applications, including lubricants, surfactants and detergents. The refinery will be located in the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.

As part of the collaboration agreement, GIB has agreed to pay Elevance license and design fees, and Elevance will provide intellectual property rights, knowledge transfer, and technical and consulting services. Elevance will also be exclusively responsible for the sale of all specialty chemicals that are produced at the biorefinery.

Asia is the new Brazil

It’s been quite a year for Asian projects for advanced bioeconomy technologies.

Last week, The Digest heard from China that Sapphire Energy’s and Sinopec’s algae-derived renewable crude oil project was selected for the U.S.-China EcoPartnerships program. Our understanding is that the two companies are collaborating toward a large-scale farm or farms, subject to the construction of a Las Cruces-sized pilot facility, construction for which would begin in 2015 with a late 2015 or early 2016 complete date.

This past spring, Verdezyne negotiated key terms for an investment of $48 million led by Malaysian multinational conglomerate, Sime Darby Berhad. The initiative was launched in a ceremony on Monday, April 28, at the Ritz-Carlton in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, attended by United States President Barack Obama, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak, Verdezyne President and CEO E. William Radany, Ph.D., and Sime Darby Berhad President and Group Chief Executive, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh.

Other key hook-ups:

Myriant-PTT (Thailand)

Heliae – Selim Group (Indonesia)

Algenol – Reliance Industries (India)

LanzaTech – Petronas (Malaysia)

LanzaTech – BaoSteel (China)

Elevance’s second refinery deal in Asia

Since Last July, Wilmar International (Asia’s leading agribusiness) and Elevance have been shipping commercial products, including novel specialty chemicals, to customers from their first world-scale joint venture biorefinery, located in Gresik, Indonesia.  The commercial-scale manufacturing facility produces novel specialty chemicals, including multifunctional esters such as 9-decenoic methyl ester, a unique distribution of bio-based alpha and internal olefins including decene and a premium mixture of oleochemicals. It has a capacity of 180kMT (approximately 400 million pounds) with the ability to expand up to 360kMT (approximately 800 million pounds) of products.

What’s Elevance’s edge?

According to the Elevance team, its metathesis biorefineries produce multiple high-value chemical streams similar to petroleum-based refineries. Elevance’s low-pressure, low-temperature process uses Nobel Prize-winning innovations in metathesis catalysis that consume significantly less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent compared to petrochemical technologies. A highly efficient, selective catalyst is used to break down natural oils and recombine fragments, resulting in a process with lower source pollution, production costs and capital expenditures than petrochemical refineries.

New market applications

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Elevance launches grease processing aid– “Concert GC-350″

Elevance Clean 1200 degreaser launches: renewables titan packs a wallop into all that sustainability

Other big Elevance developments this year

In February, Versalis and Elevance signed a Memorandum of Understanding  to establish a strategic partnership to jointly develop and scale a new metathesis technology to produce bio-chemicals from vegetable oils.

Versalis and Elevance intend to focus on jointly developing and scaling new catalysts, leveraging the significant progress of this technology that has been already accomplished by Elevance. In addition, the partners will assess the design and construction of the first world-scale ethylene metathesis-based production that will utilize renewable oils at the Versalis Porto Marghera site.

Also in February, Elevance announced  that it has selected URS Corporation to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for its second world-scale biorefinery in Natchez, Miss., ensuring the company remains on track to meet customer forecasts for its Inherent renewable building blocks in 2016. Under the contract, URS’ scope of work involves converting Elevance’s existing biodiesel plant into a new biorefinery.

Reaction from the partners

“This collaboration extends our ability to deliver novel products with improved performance, helping to achieve a paradigm shift in the way companies are addressing industry and consumer demand — making better products while leaving a smaller environmental footprint — in personal care products, detergents and cleaners, engineered polymers, lubricants and additives, and other specialty chemicals markets,” said Elevance CEO K’Lynne Johnson.

“Genting Integrated Biorefinery will spearhead our Group’s expansion into the high value-added palm oil downstream segment that will showcase palm oil’s immense potential to serve an ever-increasing variety of applications and further complement the many pioneering initiatives we are pursuing in our ongoing drive to unlock palm oil’s full potential through scientific innovation,” said Genting Plantations Berhad Chief Executive Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay.

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