Sarnia Plant Media Kit


Sarnia plant inauguration


August 6, 2015


Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

Press Release

BioAmber announces opening of world's largest succinic acid plant in Sarnia

Facility uses biotechnology to produce sustainable chemicals from sugar

BioAmber, Inc., a leader in renewable chemistry, announced today the opening of its BioAmber Sarnia plant that was jointly built with Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

BioAmber Inc. is committed to producing chemicals in a more environmentally responsible manner. By using renewable feedstock, eliminating green house gas emissions and substantially reducing energy consumption, we are practicing greener chemistry that is sustainable. With our Sarnia plant begining production in 2015, we observed an impressive carbon footprint reduction relative to the existing method of producing succinic acid from petroleum. Our bio-based process for making succinic acid results in a 100% reduction in green house gas emissions and a 60% reduction in energy consumption.


An independent life cycle analysis, which evaluated the entire production chain from the planting and harvesting of corn through to the purification of succinic acid, revealed that net green house gas emissions for our entire process is zero. This represents a 100% reduction relative to the 7.1 tons of greenhouse gases that are emitted per ton of succinic acid produced using the petroleum process. At full capacity (30,000 tons of succinic acid per year), our Sarnia facility reduces green house gas emissions by over 210,000 tons per year, relative to the petroleum process. This is the equivalent of taking 45,000 cars off the road each year. The life cycle analysis also revealed that our entire process (corn to succinic) uses 60% less energy than the petroleum-derived process, a savings of over 2 trillion BTUs per year. That is the equivalent to the energy consumed by 46,000 US homes annually.

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Our Story

  • Biotechnology

    BioAmber Sarnia Inc. is the largest succinic acid plant in the world – petroleum based or biobased.

    • BioAmber Inc. uses industrial biotechnology to convert renewable feedstocks into chemicals. Our process has a lower carbon footprint and energy consumption than the identical petroleum-derived chemicals, with zero compromise on performance and quality;
    • The feedstock for the plant is glucose, principally from Ontario agriculture;
    • The production process is based on fermentation technology that uses a proprietary yeast;
    • BioAmber Sarnia Inc. will produce succinic acid in a crystalline form, similar in appearance to table salt
  • Environment

    Sustainability can be hard to describe, even harder to imagine; this is sustainability come to life, both economic and environmental – succinic acid is a “building block chemical” with common applications in the automotive and electronics industries, biodegradable plastics, paints and coatings, lubricants and as well as food-grade certified products.

    • Bayer MaterialScience named BioAmber as its supplier for a new product line called IMPRANIL® eco, a series of bio-based waterborne polyurethane dispersions with renewable content that reaches as high as 65%.
    • At full capacity (30,000 tons of succinic acid per year), the Sarnia plant will reduce Green House Gas emissions by over 210,000 tons per year relative to the petroleum-derived process, the equivalent of taking 45,000 cars off the road.
  • Exports

    Over 95% of BioAmber Sarnia Inc. production will be exported to customers in Europe, Asia and the United States.

    Over 50% of the production of the Sarnia plant has already been sold under take or pay contracts, and the remainder is committed to various customers under supply agreements.

  • Financial

    The investment in the plant is over US $140 million.

    • In January of 2014, Export Development Canada (EDC) issued its first US $300 million Green Bond, which was oversubscribed.
    • BioAmber Sarnia’s loan facility will be part of EDC’s Green Bond portfolio.
    • The plant has received support by the Canadian and Ontario governments through low interest and no interest loans, and from grants.
  • The Global Value Chain

    BioAmber Inc. has “A list” partnerships: Mitsui & Co., Dupont, Cargill, JM Davy, Vinmar, Mitsubishi Chemical, and PTT PLC.

  • The Sarnia-Lambton Chemical Cluster

    Approximately 300 construction and 60 full-time jobs were created by the BioAmber Sarnia project and approximately 18 of the plant operators are graduates of Lambton College.

    • The emergence of commercially viable biochemistry is a demonstration of the beginning of the transition of the traditional chemical industry to renewable chemistry.
    • The plant is a fully integrated participant in the Sarnia Lambton cluster including relationships with the Industrial Educational Cooperative (IEC), Sarnia Construction Association (SCA) and the Sarnia-Lambton Environmental Association (SLEA).
    • For Sarnia Lambton, BioAmber is a jobs and export story with the potential to attract other manufacturers here to co-locate. Succinic acid production fills a significant product portfolio gap for the Canadian chemistry sector. It is an opportunity to build a renewable chemical cluster in chemical valley
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Fact Sheet

Mechanically Completed
June, 2015
Broke Ground
August, 2013
30,000 metric tons per year
Plant Feedstock
Glucose from agricultural sugars
Succinic Acid Profile
Crystalline, similar to table salt
1,000 kg bags
Fermentation Technology
Proprietary yeast
5 years of proven demonstration production in France
Plant Certification
Food grade for production, packaging and warehousing
Lab Capabilities
On-site lab for production inputs and quality control
  • Inbound trucks deliver sugar feedstocks
  • Pipeline delivers steam and cooling water from Lanxess
  • Electric power delivered from TransAlta cogeneration plant
  • Outbound trucks & containers deliver worldwide
  • Co-products delivered to regional farms & energy producers
Construction Record
No lost time due to injuries; strong safety culture
Construction Time
630,000 hours worked
Jobs created
300 construction jobs
60 full-time employees
Job sourcing
Plant operators primarily from Lambton College
Environmental footprint
100% reduction of greenhouse gases (vs. petrochemical production)
  • Industrial Educational Cooperative (IEC)
  • Sarnia Construction Association (SCA)
  • Sarnia-Lambton Environmental Association (SLEA)
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Contact Information

For more information, please contact

Mike Hartmann

Executive VP
TEL.: +1 (514) 844-8000 x120
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