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Solazyme, Bunge to develop Brazilian bio-oil plant

3 Apr 2012

US alternative fuel company Solazyme and agribusiness Bunge have formed a joint venture to build a bio-oil facility in Brazil.

The new plant will be adjacent to a sugarcane mill owned by Bunge and will have an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes.

It will utilise Solazyme’s renewable oil production technology, coupled with Bunge’s sugarcane supply and processing equipment, to produce bio-oil for the domestic Brazilian market.

Ben Pearcy, managing director of the sugar and bioenergy department at Bunge, said, ‘Bunge is excited to partner with Solazyme to commercialise its innovative sugar-to-oil technology platform, which will enable us to link our sugar and vegetable oil value chains.

‘The tailored oils we expect to produce will not only expand our portfolio and address the growing demand of the fuels and oleochemicals industries, but also increase our capabilities to leverage new technologies for future opportunities in sugar and bioenergy.’

Jonathan Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme, added, ‘The JV’s commercial-scale production facility in Brazil will provide Solazyme with the capacity we need to produce renewable tailored oils to meet the strong demand we’re seeing in our initial target markets.

‘As a leader in oilseed processing and sugarcane milling, Bunge brings crucial expertise and scale to the table. Their global presence in sugar and vegetable oil markets, large-scale processing experience and significant footprint in Brazil, coupled with our advanced fermentation technology, creates a powerful alliance in the rapidly emerging area of tailored oils.’

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