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Green companies taking root

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Sarnia has taken two more small steps in moving from an oil-based economy to a more sustainable one.

First up was BioAmber, which has secured a $20 million loan to build the world’s largest bio-based succinic acid production facility.

The soon-to-open plant at Lanxess will convert corn into succinic acid, a chemical used in many everyday products including plastics, food additives and personal care products.

The loan is coming from a consortium led by Canada Export Development Canada and includes Farm Credit Canada and Comerica Bank.

BioAmber secured a $10-million interest free loan from Agriculture Canada earlier this year, and before that $35 million from a group of government organizations.

The plant will create 50 full-time jobs and produce 30,000 tonnes of acid annually to start.

And last week a pilot plant intended to build solar panel components in Sarnia received a $3.1 million boost from the federal government.

Ubiquity Solar plans to open the plant at the TransAlta Bluewater Energy Park. It will produce high performance polysilicon wafers, which help photovoltaic panels that turn sunlight into electricity.

President and CEO Ian MacLellan said his company’s product would allow panel makers to reduce costs without major process changes.

The $10.9 million Sarnia pilot plant will also lay the foundation for a large production facility, he said.

“We expect to create over 500 export focused jobs over the next five years in Canada.”

– Journal Staff





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