Anellotech selects operating partner for testing facility

By Erin Voegele | January 20, 2016

On Jan. 20, Anellotech announced the selection of South Hampton Resources as the operating partner and site host for its fully integrated development and testing facility (TCAT-8), which will be located in Silsbee, Texas. The company is developing technology to produce biobased parazylene, along with biobased benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX).  

SHR is a subsidiary of Trecorda Resources. “SHR brings a proven track record of efficiently and safely constructing, hosting and operating chemical projects, and has a superb staff of chemical plant operators, maintenance craftsmen, plant supervisors, ESH and analytical personnel,” said David Sudolsky, president and CEO of Anellotech. "By partnering with SHR, Anellotech can leverage their operational expertise and experience. They have a reputation for excellent service as evidenced by their extensive, long-term relationships with domestic and international customers. Anellotech is teaming up with partners that have deep experience and expertise across the chemical supply chain. SHR is an ideal fit as our partner for the TCat-8 development and testing facility. This is an important step as we continue our program to commercialize the Bio-TCat process to cost-competitively produce renewable chemicals from non-food biomass.”

Anellotech announced the selection of the Silsbee site on Jan. 13. Construction of a building and related facilities to house the pre-built unit is expected to begin later this month, with completion and operation scheduled for this year.

The 25-meter tall unit is designed to confirm the viability and suitability of the company’s Bio-TCat process for scale-up. The project is expected to generate the data needed to design commercial-scale plants that employ Bio-TCat technology.

According to Anellotech, the TCat-8 unit was jointly designed by the company and its research and development partner IFPEN. It will use a novel catalyst under development by Anellotech and Johnson Matthey.

“We evaluated several potential sites for TCat-8 and have selected Hardin County, Texas, as the location for our TCat-8 development and testing unit,” said David Sudolsky, President and CEO of Anellotech. “We had received bids from five different construction companies to install the unit adjacent to our Rockland County, New York, headquarters and lab, and all the quotes were significantly above our target. The Texas location provides low capital and also low operating expense, access to a highly skilled workforce, and an infrastructure that will further position Anellotech to leverage our proprietary thermal catalytic biomass conversion technology to cost-competitively produce renewable chemicals from non-food biomass. We are pleased to enter the next phase of our commercialization plans and look forward to beginning operations of the TCat-8 unit in 2016.”

Anellotech has made several other announcements in recent months. In mid-November, the company announced a $7 million equity investment from a new strategic investor. According to Anellotech, the initial $7 million is the first tranche of a total of $10 million the company plans to raise. The remaining $3 million was expected within the following few months.

In December, Anellotech announced construction of the TCat-8 system was complete. The company indicated it now ready to commence onsite installation.

On Jan. 13, Anellotech announced it had entered into the next phase of its strategic partnership with Suntory Holdings Ltd., a leading consumer beverage company. The partnership, which began in 2012, is focused on advancing the development and commercialization of cost-competitive biobased plastics for use in beverage bottles. In a statement, Anellotech said following verification of the continuous operation of TCat-8, Suntory plans to move ahead with studies to consider the development of the first commercial-scale Bio-TCat plant.