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April 11, 2018

Volume 3 Issue 3

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Calumet Acquires Biosynthetic Technologies

Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. said on Monday that it acquired Biosynthetic Technologies, a startup that converts sustainable plant oils into synthetic base stocks using proprietary technology.

This deal was completed in partnership with The Heritage Group, a privately held portfolio of several companies. The group acted as a “technology partner,” according to the press release. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Heritage Group and its affiliates own a controlling interest in Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P.

“Calumet plans to develop and commercialize these renewable esters at its existing esters manufacturing facility in Missouri,” the company stated in its press release. Indianapolis-based Calumet did not respond to further inquiries.

Calumet has two base oil plants in Louisiana – in Shreveport with production capacities of 4,800 barrels per day of API Group I, 6,600 b/d Group II, 400 b/d Group III and 100 b/d naphthenic, and in Princeton, with 6,900 b/d of naphthenic production capacity. The company’s Porter, Texas-based subsidiary Royal Purple manufactures synthetic industrial lubricating oils, gear oils and motor oils.

Biosynthetic Technologies patented a technology that converts fatty acids in plant and animal oils into synthetic oils that can be used in industrial lubricants and other chemical sectors, in addition to personal care. The previously privately held company is based on Irvine, California.

Some of the companies that made equity investments in and collaborated with Biosynthetic Technologies over the years included BP Ventures, Monsanto in 2012 and Evonik Oil Additives in 2014.

Working with specialty chemical company Albemarle, Biosynthetic Technologies operates a demonstration plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. According to the company’s web site, the demonstration plant incorporates all aspects of a full-scale commercial manufacturing plant, and validates the manufacturing process that was engineered and designed by Albemarle and Jacobs Engineering.

In February 2016, Biosynthetic Technologies announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture had approved a phase one application for over $100 million in loan guarantees for a commercial-scale facility that would use the company’s technology to produce synthetic base oil. At the time, the company indicated the loan could fund up to 70 percent, or $115 million of the estimated $150 million total project cost, with shareholders needing to cover the remainder.

The company had worked with Jacobs Engineering for about two years on the plant design at that point, and the plant was to be on a location in the Gulf Coast area. The stated idea was to co-locate the manufacturing plant inside an existing chemical plant and contract with the owner of that plant to run and operate the facility for Biosynthetic Technologies.

George Gill contributed to this article.