SAN DIEGO, CALF. (Aug. 22, 1:45 p.m. ET) — In another move in the growing market for bio-based plastics, Genomatic Inc. and Novamont SpA have signed a letter of intent to set up a joint venture.
The companies expect the JV will lead to the 2012 opening of a plant in Europe that will make bio-based butanediol (BDO), an intermediate that can be used in polymers like Novamont's biodegradable plastic, Mater-Bi.
According to the companies, the JV will convert an existing industrial plant in Italy into a 40 million pound-per-year BDO plant. The facility will use San Diego-based Genomatic's production process.
Novara, Italy will provide capital for the project, and will commit to buy the plant's output.
“Genomatica's BDO process, in Novamont's view, is ready for scale-up and also looks sustainable from the economic point of view,” said Novamont CEO Catia Bastioli, in a news release.