09 August 2012 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau
US firm Gevo to produce cellulosic isobutanol in Malaysia
Gevo is partnering along the supply chain to provide bio-based isobutanol at a cost-competitive price
Singapore: Malaysian government's East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), Malaysian Biotechnology Corp (BiotechCorp) and the State Government of Terengganu have signed collaboration with Gevo, a leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company, to site a cellulosic biomass isobutanol facility in Malaysia.
After a year of ongoing development work in Malaysia, Gevo is strategically partnering along the supply chain to provide bio-based isobutanol at a cost competitive price. The company is in the final stages of evaluating additional partners to complete the biomass to isobutanol value chain. The collaboration offers a diversified feedstock, organized approach and the opportunity to develop an economically advantaged business plan to meet this expanding market.
"The technology for a sustainable cellulosic feedstock is expected to be commercially viable this year, so now is the appropriate time to begin our cellulosic platform," said Mr Chris Ryan, president and chief operating officer of Gevo. "We're excited to follow the demand, especially since Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing chemical markets, and Malaysia provides an excellent growth opportunity for Gevo. Our ambition is to move toward definitive agreements by the second half of 2012 with a target of having a cellulosic plant operational by late 2015 or early 2016."
The current plan under consideration is to construct a fermentation facility to produce bio isobutanol made from cellulosic biomass. The proposed site is in the State of Terengganu at the world-class Biorefinery Complex in Kertih.
"The establishment of a Gevo facility in East Coast Economic Region Malaysia is further testament to investors' confidence in the Region and we look forward to facilitating Gevo's investment in Malaysia," said Chief Executive Officer of the ECERDC, Jebasingam Issace John. Gevo is converting existing ethanol plants into biorefineries to make renewable building block products for the chemical and fuel industries.