Feds pony up for Sarnia plant

A fledgling Sarnia industry hit a significant milestone when it secured a $10 million interest free loan recently from Agriculture Canada.

BioAmber will use the money to help complete construction of its succinic acid plant at Lanxess.

The presentation took place at the plant site and showcased the progress already made. Construction is expected to conclude by the end of the year.

The plant, the first of its kind in Canada, will produce biosuccinic acid from corn, which can be used to manufacture a range of products including plastics, resins, food additives and personal care products.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said the facility will be good for Canadian farmers and manufacturers.

“BioAmber’s innovative project will help enhance the bottom line of producers by using a corn derivative as agricultural feedstock while generating jobs in the Sarnia area,” he said.

About 50 full-time jobs will be created by the project, which is expected to produce 30,000 tonnes of acid annually to start.

The $10 million loan will be repaid in equal yearly installments from 2015 to 2024.

BioAmber Sarnia had already received $35 million from government organizations, including Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment.