Plant Profile: Myriant Inc.

Renewable chemical company Myriant enters final commissioning phase
By Tim Portz | April 02, 2013

As the construction of Myriant Inc.’s $100 million biosuccinic acid production facility draws to a close in the river town of Lake Providence, La., the facility’s commission stage is well- underway. While the 450-plus construction jobs that were created when this project officially broke ground in December of 2011 will move on to other projects, 53 permanent jobs will be established once the facility becomes operational. Additionally, the sorghum growers in the delivery radius of the facility will enjoy an additional market opportunity for their crop.

The process used to convert sugars into bio-succinic acid is a biological one requiring a proprietary biocatalyst that creates succinic acid by virtue of its own metabolic process. The Lake Providence facility has been designed to efficiently carry out this process at commercial scale, producing nearly 30 million pounds of biosuccinic acid per year. Biosuccinic  acid is an important platform chemical and can be furthered refined into plastics, urethanes and coatings.

"This an exciting, yet extremely busy time for the entire team as we work to bring the plant online," says Cenan Ozmeral, Myriant's chief operating officer. "Plant commissioning is never as easy as one hopes. That said, Myriant has taken a deliberate and step-wise approach to scaling our proprietary process, and we benefit from having an experienced engineering and operations team that has built and commissioned dozens of plants over the last 20 years.”

Ozmeral adds that the company firmly believes it will be successful bringing online the first biosuccinic acid chemical plant in the U.S. “We very much look forward to reporting that progress."

Author: Tim Portz
Executive Editor, Biomass Magazine