Amyris biotech facility to produce cosmetic ingredients for Asia

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Amyris biotech facility to produce cosmetic ingredients for Asia
The company recently announced advanced plans to build a biorefinery in conjunction with the government of Queensland Australia. As part of that state’s Biofutures Acceleration Program, Amyris is set to provide bioproducts for the Asian personal care and fragrance market.

Amyris has for some time now been strategically collaborating with tech partners, beauty makers, governments, and even the cosmetics retail giant Sephora to bring biotech to the fore.

In December last year, the company announced its partnership with Queensland. And now in response to the company’s updated plans to build a facility there, that state’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tells the press why Amyris was selected and what the company is on track to develop in Australia.

“Amyris is seeking to replicate its successful biorefinery in Brazil and sees Queensland as an ideal location due to the abundance of sugarcane and close proximity to Asia,”​ Palaszczuk says in a press release about the new venture.

Size and scope

Amyris plans to do in Queensland what it is already doing elsewhere, which is to turn sugar into a multipurpose specialty chemical known as farnesene.

“The company's proposed biorefinery would aim to produce 23,000 tonnes a year of a sugar cane-based ingredient called farnesene which is used in a range products including cosmetics, fragrances, nutraceuticals, polymers, and lubricants,”​ affirms Palaszczuk in the release.

For Queensland, it’s an economic partnership: “The Queensland Government's funding and support for biorefinery projects will create high-value jobs and investment in regional Queensland by using renewable feedstocks to create biofuel and other bioproducts,”​ explains the Premier in her statement to the press.

Market share

With partnerships and facilities around the globe, Amyris sees a fuller market for its biotech ingredients in Asia. And as a participating company in the Queensland Biofutures Acceleration Program, Amyris will better its foothold in that region.

“We are very pleased with the commitment of the Queensland Government to be leaders of the Bioeconomy,”​ John Melo, CEO and president of Amyris says in the release. “Our growing demand in China for Vitamins and the Asian demand for cosmetics and fragrances supports a new specialty farnesene fermentation factory in Queensland.”

“The funding from the Queensland government along with the operating expertise and sugar cane base of our local partner make this factory possible and enable savings from our current production in Brazil and the associated shipping costs,”​ adds Melo.

Amyris sees this forthcoming venture as a sure bet: “Like all our new projects, this factory is expected to be sold out when it starts operating with agreements to supply our current partners in China and other Asian markets” ​Melo tells the press. And he goes on to emphasize that “Queensland offers an excellent location option for Amyris with its favorable business climate, extensive sugar industry and geographic proximity to these markets.”

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