News Column

Amyris Opens Renewable Products Demonstration Facility in Brazil


Amyris Brasil Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, Ltda., a wholly owned subsidiary of Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc., today announced the opening of the Amyris Renewable Products Demonstration Facility in Campinas. The facility, located in the midst of the sugar cane processing industry, secures the final development step before full commercial production of Amyris’s renewable products.

The facility is the first of its kind in Brazil, and is designed to execute in-country scale-up, demonstration and optimization of all Amyris fuels and chemicals manufacturing processes. Amyris produces these renewable products by applying its proprietary synthetic biology technology to convert Brazilian sugar cane into a range of high value renewable fuels and chemicals.

The Amyris Renewable Products Demonstration Facility includes both pilot plant and demonstration scale operations, and complements the pilot plants that Amyris opened in Emeryville, Calif. in 2008 and in Campinas earlier this year. Amyris now has fully integrated capabilities to move technology from lab to pilot to demonstration and finally to commercial scale, with tested continuity of results throughout the chain. The new demonstration equipment allows for final validation of commercial equipment design and manufacturing processes, as well as the production of more than 10,000 gallons of Amyris products under conditions representing full-scale manufacturing. It also provides local training and technical support for new production facilities.

In addition, to achieve Amyris’s planned 2011 commercialization, Amyris has engaged a leading engineering, procurement and construction management (“EPCM”) firm, to oversee final design and construction of commercial production facilities. Amyris intends to leverage existing Brazilian cane industry infrastructure through the conversion of ethanol mills to produce higher value Amyris products.

“This facility represents a crucial step toward the commercialization of our fuels and chemicals,” said John Melo, Amyris Biotechnologies chief executive officer. “The stage is now set for the industry to enter a new era where pioneering technologies like Amyris’s will bring us significantly closer to reducing the world’s carbon footprint.”

Amyris intends to bring its renewable fuels and chemicals to market in 2011, initially through production in mills that Amyris expects to own or control. Thereafter, starting in 2012, Amyris intends to scale production by working with independent mill owners through “capital-light” agreements in which Amyris provides technology and plant design and mill owners convert their mills to produce Amyris renewable products. Amyris will then distribute and market these products to end customers.

“Amyris is setting the standard for the advancement of effective technologies,” said Fernando Reinach, a general partner with Votorantim Novos Negocios and a member of the Amyris Biotechnologies board of directors. “The new facility represents the intersection of the best of today’s renewable technologies with Brazil’s extensive resources, with promising implications for the Brazilian cane industry, our energy needs and the environment.”

Amyris’s initial products include a renewable diesel fuel with performance properties that equal or exceed those of petroleum-sourced fuels and currently available biofuels. A key attribute of the fuel is that it is a hydrocarbon – the same component found in today’s petroleum fuels – enabling it to be used in any kind of diesel engine and withstand extremely low temperatures without the need to alter engines. It can also be easily distributed within the existing fuels infrastructure. In addition to diesel, Amyris expects to produce renewable chemicals for a variety of consumer products and industrial applications currently dependent on petrochemical components.

Amyris applies synthetic biology to alter the metabolic pathways of microorganisms to engineer “living factories” that transform sugar into any one of 50,000 different molecules used in a wide variety of energy, pharmaceutical and chemical applications. Amyris has proven this technology through the delivery of its first successful commercial scale technologies to sanofi aventis for the production of artemisinin, a low cost anti-malarial drug.

About Amyris Biotechnologies:

Amyris Biotechnologies is applying a proprietary synthetic biology technology to create a portfolio of renewable fuels and chemicals that help reduce the world’s carbon footprint. In addition to being environmentally friendly, Amyris products are designed to be low cost, scaleable, and compatible with the existing infrastructure with performance attributes comparable to petroleum-based products. Founded in 2003, Amyris has raised over $125 million in equity funding to date, including investments from Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, TPG Biotech, and Votorantim Novos Negocios. More information about Amyris is available at

Amyris operates two subsidiary companies: Amyris Fuels, LLC and Amyris Brasil Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, Ltda. Amyris Fuels is building Amyris’s U.S. based product distribution and marketing capabilities, generating current revenue from an expanding distribution and customer network. Amyris Brasil was established in March, 2008 to oversee Amyris’s final scale up, licensing, production and distribution in Brazil. Amyris Brasil has approximately 40 employees and facilities in Campinas, Brazil including labs, a pilot plant and demonstration facility. The managing director is Roel Collier, and advisers include Fernando Reinach of Votorantim Novos Negocios and Roberto Rodrigues, former Brazilian minister of agriculture.

Forward-Looking Statements:

The statements contained in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as amended. These include, without limitation, statements regarding scale up, economies and all future performance criteria of Amyris renewable products. Words such as "expect," "believe", "plan" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon the Company's current expectations. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties.

Photos⁄Multimedia¬†Gallery Available: http:⁄⁄⁄cgi-bin⁄mmg.cgi?eid=5995094&lang=en

Source: BusinessWire

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters