Myriant starts up commercial-scale biobased succinic acid plant

By Myriant Corp. | June 17, 2013

Myriant Corp., a global renewable chemicals company, has announced the successful start-up at its flagship bio-succinic acid plant located in Lake Providence, La. Myriant has produced on-spec commercial product at the plant and the company anticipates that customer shipments will commence soon. Myriant’s bio-succinic acid plant is the first of its kind and scale in North America and has an annual nameplate production capacity of 30 million pounds of bio-succinic acid.

“This is an exciting and challenging time for Myriant as we work through typical start-up and optimization activities to produce our high-performing bio-succinic acid at Lake Providence,” said Stephen J. Gatto, chairman and CEO for Myriant. “Given the positive metrics we’ve achieved to date at Lake Providence and most recently at ThyssenKrupp Uhde’s commercial validation plant in Leuna, Germany, and, combined with our team’s depth of expertise in building and operating fermentation plants, we expect a relatively smooth transition to steady-state operations. As is always the case when bringing chemical plants online, it will take some time to achieve our full production rate, but we are confident about the reliability of our core technology platform. We look forward to shipping bio-succinic acid to our growing list of customers, distributors and partners across the globe who seek to integrate our cost-advantaged renewable succinic acid into their manufacturing processes.”

Myriant’s Lake Providence Commercial Facility is partially funded through a $50 million cost sharing cooperative agreement received from the U.S. DOE, $25 million from the USDA B&I Loan Guarantee Program and a $10 million grant from the Lake Providence Port Commission and the Louisiana Department of Transportation.

Globally, the annual worldwide market for succinic acid is estimated at approximately $7.5 billion in new and existing applications. Succinic acid, which is traditionally produced from petroleum, can be used in a wide variety of applications including polymers, urethanes, plasticizers and coatings. Myriant's high purity bio-succinic acid is made from renewable feedstocks and is chemically equivalent to petroleum-based succinic acid while providing a lower environmental footprint. Myriant’s bio-succinic acid reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 94 percent compared to petroleum-derived succinic acid and by 93 percent compared to petroleum-derived adipic acid, a chemical that succinic acid can replace.