CARLSBAD, CA/KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Verdezyne Inc., a privately held industrial biotechnology company focused on producing renewable chemicals, has reached an agreement with Bio-XCell Malaysia to construct Verdezyne’s first commercial-scale renewable chemicals manufacturing facility in Bio-XCell’s biotechnology and ecosystem park in Nusajaya, Iskandar, in southern Malaysia.
With construction scheduled to start in 2015, the plant will be capable of producing approximately 30 million pounds per year of diacids, including dodecanedioic acid (DDDA). According to Verdezyne, it will be the world’s first biobased plant for the production of DDDA.
The exchange of agreement ceremony took place during the official opening ceremony of BioMalaysia: Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2014 Conference & Exhibition and was attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The multi-faceted agreement includes leasing a 6.9-acre site owned by Bio-XCell in Malaysia’s biotechnology park located in Nusajaya, Iskandar, Malaysia, 30 minutes north of Singapore. The 13-year, renewable lease provides for expansion options on other adjacent lots, and all major utilities will be supplied by Bio-XCell.
The agreement also includes a loan of approximately $75 million from Bio-XCell.
The manufacturing facility will leverage Verdezyne’s yeast fermentation technology with the abundant supplies of non-food, plant-based feedstocks in Malaysia to produce a variety of commercial diacids, including DDDA. These diacids may in turn be used to produce nylon or other polymers for use in a variety of applications.
Verdezyne is an industrial biotechnology company using proven and proprietary metabolic pathway engineering tools to develop unique yeast strains for cost-effective production of biobased chemicals. Current investors in Verdezyne include BP Ventures, DSM Venturing B.V., OVP Venture Partners, Monitor Ventures and Sime Darby.
Bio-XCell, a biotechnology park and ecosystem dedicated to healthcare and industrial biotechnology, is being developed by Malaysian Bio-XCellSdnBhd, a joint venture company formed between Malaysian Biotechnology Corp. and property developer UEM Sunrise Berhad in 2009.