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October 17, 2017

Volume 7 Issue 3

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Verdezyne DDDA Plant Underway

Verdezyne Inc. began constructing a commercial-scale, palm-based dodecanedioic acid manufacturing facility in Iskandar, Malaysia, following a two-year delay. The United States-based synthetic biology firm claims the facility will be the first of its kind.

DDDA is the building block of Verdezyne’s FerroShield, a nitrate-free dibasic acid mixture used as a corrosion inhibitor in metalworking fluids, engine coolants, metal cleaners, die cast release agents, aqueous hydraulic fluids and other formulations.

Verdezyne will produce around 6,000 metric tons of industrial-grade DDDA per year using crude palm oil, palm byproducts, and other plant-based raw materials. The 12-carbon DDDA is produced through a fermentation process using the firm’s proprietary yeast, which is made from the spent biomass that results from palm oil processing.

Verdezyne said it embarked on the development of its FerroShield dibasic acid mixture after Invista – the world’s largest supplier of diacids-based corrosion inhibitors to the metalworking fluids market – announced in January 2016 that it would shut down its plant in Victoria, Texas, U.S.

“The rust-inhibition industry is in need of a high-performing dibasic acid mixture that can be easily incorporated into existing formulas,” CEO E. William Radany said in a Verdezyne press release earlier this year. “We foresee strong demand for FerroShield in a number of countries in Asia and Europe, as well as in the U.S. and Canada.” The firm previously claimed that the plant will potentially supply up to 30 percent of global DDDA demand.

After announcing plans in 2014 to build a DDDA plant at an undetermined location in Malaysia, the Carlsbad, California-based company encountered undisclosed setbacks. “Due to unexpected delays, construction commenced in early 2017,” a company spokesman told Lube Report Asia. Verdezyne’s 13-year lease on the property was reduced to a 10-year lease “due to the shift in the timeline.”

The plant is under construction on a nearly 7-acre site with expansion options on adjacent lots at the Bio-XCell biotechnology park in Nusajaya, Iskandar, in the state of Johor. It will take 12 to 18 months to complete. Bio-XCell, a joint venture formed by Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corp. and UEM Sunrise Bhd, will supply many of the facility’s utilities. The 160-acre park was established in 2009 to accelerate the commercialization of biobased manufacturing in Malaysia.

Connell Brothers Co. will distribute FerroShield throughout Asia.

Verdezyne manufactures a variety of biobased chemicals via fermentation of its proprietary yeast. Investors in Verdezyne include BP Ventures, DSM Venturing, OVP Venture Partners, Monitor Ventures and Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd.