Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has made a COMM SCI (Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation) investment, whose amount wasn’t disclosed, in Origin Materials through BIC’s Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (SCA) investment fund, as part of an investment round that will see Origin construct its first commercial scale demonstration facility in Sarnia (Ontario) by late 2018.
“The decision by U.S. based Origin to located their first commercial demonstration facility in Sarnia demonstrates the value of the Sarnia biocluster and validates the efforts of BIC and its local partners in creating the vision and executing the development of the cluster” said Sandy Marshall, Executive Director of BIC.
COMM SCI is a hub for commercialization of bio-based and sustainable chemistry-based innovation, providing business and technical support to participating small and medium sized entities (SME). It services provide participating companies expert training, mentorship, and access to risk capital for technology demonstration and scale-up.
BIC’s business financing model utilizes government funding to support operations and provide funding for commercialization acceleration. BIC utilizes its Sustainable Chemistry Alliance Investment Fund (SCA Fund) as its commercialization vehicle to provide equity investments in commercial acceleration. All revenue from the SCA Fund is reinvested in the next round of commercialization ventures. BIC’s long term goal is to build its commercialization vehicle to become self-sustaining by supporting its operating budget while continuing to make investments in the commercial acceleration in Canada’s bio-based and sustainable chemistry-based products and processes.
Origin, headquartered in Sacramento, California, has developed unique and proprietary technology which allows it to transform multiple bio-based feedstocks into a broad range of chemical intermediates with large existing market demand. The company has successfully demonstrated the technology in its Sacramento pilot plant but chose Sarnia for its first commercial scale demonstration due to the unique nature of the biocluster which has been growing in the Sarnia region in recent years.
The Canadian cluster allows Origin to not only locally source feedstocks but have a ready market in the biochemical value chain. Origin is supported by partnerships with several global consumer products companies that will benefit from bio-based packaging created from the Company’s bio-intermediates.
The Californian company has already produced samples of 80% bio-based PET in its pilot plant in Sacramento. Construction of a “pioneer plant” will begin in 2017, with production of the first samples of 60+% bio-based PET to start in 2018. The initial volume goal for this first step is to bring 5,000 metric tons of bio-based PET to the market. Thanks to their complementary skills and shared vision, the NaturALL Bottle Alliance, that brings together Origin Materials, Nestlé and Danone, aims to develop the process for producing at least 75% bio-based PET plastic bottles at commercial scale as early as in 2020, scaling up to 95% in 2022. The partners will continue to conduct research to increase the level of bio-based content, with the objective of reaching 100%