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Fiber World

Verdezyne Teams With BiotechCorp To Set Up Asia Pacific Biochemical Production

Carlsbad, Calif.-based Verdezyne Inc., developer of renewable nylon fiber and biobased chemicals, has partnered with Malaysian Biotechnology Corp. (BiotechCorp) to establish a biochemical production facility in Malaysia — the company's first in the Asia Pacific region.

Verdezyne opened a pilot plant in Carlsbad in November 2011 to produce adipic acid — a component of nylon 6,6 — using its patented cost-effective yeast-based fermentation process to derive adipic acid from nonfood-based vegetable oils. In 2012, it partnered with Bristol, Va.-based Universal Fiber Systems (UFS) to produce nylon 6,6 fiber using the biobased adipic acid for specified application areas including carpet, performance apparel and military-grade parachutes, and it plans to partner with other companies for other applications. Verdezyne expects the partnership with BiotechCorp will help it ramp up its adipic acid process to full commercial-scale production using palm oil as its feedstock.

BiotechCorp, founded in 2005, is the primary biobased industry development agency in Malaysia. The agency's government-sponsored Bioeconomy Transformation Programme aims to maximize opportunities in Malaysia for both Malaysian and international biotechnology enterprises.

"We are taking a very bold move in entering uncharted territories, said E. William Radany, Ph.D., president and CEO, Verdezyne. "Nevertheless, Malaysia's position as one of the largest palm oil producers and its strong drive in the development of the biochemical sector has made it an interesting location to catapult into the world's largest chemical market, Asia."

"BiotechCorp is committed to ensuring further assistance for Verdezyne, in light of the great potential and favorable position of Malaysia's ecosystem for the Biochemical sector," said Dato' Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal, CEO, BiotechCorp. "By positioning Verdezyne in Malaysia's Bioeconomy Transformation Programme, I firmly believe that further value add could be created for the palm oil sector."

June 25, 2013