Myriant Awarded $50M From DOE For Biorefinery Project

Dec 8 2009 | 11:58am ET

Myriant Technologies, a leading biotech developer and manufacturer of renewable biochemicals, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive up to $50 million for its planned biobased Succinic Acid facility in Louisiana.

The new plant will manufacture Succinic Acid from sorghum rather than petroleum.  Accoring to the firm, Myriant’s biobased process is more energy efficient than the petroleum equivalent, and also consumes carbon dioxide in the proprietary fermentation process.

Succinic Acid is used in wide variety of everyday applications including foods, plastics, fibers, polyesters, and pigments. In addition to dramatically reducing lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and reducing dependence on imported oil, the facility will bring over 250 construction and full time operating jobs to the local community.

Myriant's production of biobased Succinic Acid will utilize both local sorghum and carbon dioxide to displace petroleum-based feedstocks, using less energy than its petroleum alternative. In addition to the energy savings, by consuming CO2 rather than producing it via oil refining methods, Myriant's process dramatically reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are grateful for the validation of our technology embodied in the award by the DOE," said Stephen Gatto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Myriant. "We applaud their recognition of the importance of biobased chemicals as a leading component of biorefineries. Our Succinic Acid platform provides a "win-win" solution in terms of cost, environmental benefits and reduction in our dependence on imported oil and puts critical jobs to work right here in the United States."

"The Port and the State of Louisiana have been extraordinary partners, and we expect the site, immediately adjacent to the Mississippi River, to be the foundation of a large biotech corridor in Louisiana," added Gatto. "We're very excited about bringing this technology and over 250 construction and full time operating jobs to the community."

Among the 19 integrated biorefinery projects that won funding or loan guarantees, Myriant was the only award focused exclusively on biobased chemicals rather than biofuels.


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