Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation Signs Memorandum of Understanding
for Strategic Partnership with Genomatica for Sustainable Chemicals in Asia
Includes joint venture for first Asian commercial Bio-BDO plant,
research and development of additional chemicals, and equity investment
SAN DIEGO, April 28, 2011
Genomatica, an emerging leader in sustainable chemicals, and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, the eighth-largest chemical maker in the world, signed a broad memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining multiple potential areas of collaboration. These include:
a) Study of a joint venture for Bio-BDO production in Asia: Mitsubishi and Genomatica will explore forming a joint venture to build the first commercial plant in Asia for Bio-BDO. This plant would use Genomatica’s direct, one-step technology and leverage Mitsubishi’s leadership in BDO applications and sales, as well as their manufacturing expertise.
b) Development of additional green intermediate and basic chemicals: Mitsubishi and Genomatica will discuss collaborating to develop several major chemicals, which are strategic to both companies.
c) An equity investment in Genomatica: Mitsubishi made an equity investment in Genomatica as part of Genomatica’s recently-announced $45 million Series C-1 funding.
Mitsubishi will join Genomatica in a plenary presentation at the BIO World Congress conference on May 11, 2011, titled ‘Strategic Partnerships for More Robust Value Chains’.
“We respect and share Genomatica’s vision of the importance of sustainability for the chemical industry—and we recognize their achievements with C4 chemicals, which are strategic to us”, said Hiroaki Ishizuka, Representative Director of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. “Asia is the fastest-growing chemicals market in the world and we see great potential to deliver bio-based chemicals to this market as a growing complement to our current conventionally-sourced chemicals. We believe that a strategic partnership with Genomatica will provide market-leading economics and quality which will benefit both parties.”
“We’re gratified and honored to be chosen as a strategic partner by Mitsubishi”, said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. “Our interests and core values are fully aligned, as we work to create long-term value. This marks another step forward in being the preferred partner to the chemical industry—giving them the flexibility to use renewable inputs to make the same great products, while delivering superior profitability compared to petrochemical processes and a smaller environmental footprint.”
Genomatica and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation will negotiate in good faith the terms of definitive agreements for the collaborations described in the MOU.
Figure 1: Mitsubishi Chemical and its parent company, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, have extensive channels and customer relationships throughout Asia, as shown here. The definitive agreement to be negotiated between Mitsubishi and Genomatica has the potential to open the huge market in Asia to Bio-BDO and other sustainably-produced chemicals and materials.
Genomatica is the emerging leader in sustainable chemicals: ‘greener’ intermediate and basic chemicals made from renewable feedstocks, rather than oil and gas. The company aims to transform the chemical industry through cost-advantaged, smaller-footprint products as direct replacements in a trillion-dollar market. Genomatica was named one of ‘10 Big Green Ideas’ by Newsweek, and was featured on Forbes.com.
Genomatica is moving to demonstration-scale production of its first product, Bio-BDO, through a strategic partnership with Tate & Lyle. BDO, an intermediate chemical with a $4 billion market worldwide, is used to make spandex, automotive plastics, running shoes and more.
Genomatica’s integrated bio-process engineering platform and extensive intellectual property allow it to rapidly develop organisms and processes to produce dozens of the most significant intermediate and basic chemicals from renewable feedstocks, like sugars, and later, from biomass and syngas.
Genomatica has raised $84 million from investors including Alloy Ventures, Bright Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Mohr Davidow Ventures, TPG Biotech, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Waste Management.
About Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
Mitsubishi Chemical Group is Japan’s major chemical group and offers a wide variety of products and solutions in three business domains—performance products, health care, and chemicals.
We believe “Sustainability”, “Health”, and “Comfort” are the key words in the 21st century society, and we aim to amalgamate our lineup of products and technologies into the power of “Chemistry” to greatly contribute to solving the problems that our global society faces.
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