Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

Origin Materials wins award as plant construction wraps up

Published on

Cathy Dobson

One more company is about to join Sarnia’s emerging bio-industry economy.

And it’s an award winner.

Origin Materials is nearly finished construction of its first plant and plans to start operations in 2023 at its Arlanxeo site on Vidal Street. As work winds down on building their new facility, Origin officials learned this month that the company won a performance award for commercialization and the scale-up of its patented technology.

For the last 12 years, California-based Origin Materials has developed unique technology that turns sustainable materials like wood residues into a wide range of materials including plastics that are carbon negative and fully recyclable. The Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park on Modeland Road provided research space before the company decided to build its first plant in Sarnia.

As preparations are underway to hire 50 – 60 employees and ramp up production, Origin Materials has won the 2022 Alternative Fuels & Chemicals Coalition (AFCC) Global Biobased Economy Performance Award for its outstanding performance and achievements.

“The award recognizes Origin’s platform technology for turning the carbon found in sustainable wood residues into useful carbon-negative materials for a wide range of end products, including clothing, textiles, plastics, packaging, car parts, tires, carpeting and toys,” according to a press release.

The award is handed out annually to recognize companies that are advancing science and contributing to the production and commercialization of industrial biotechnology products.

“We are grateful for AFCC’s recognition of our efforts,” said Origin Materials co-founder and co-CEO John Bissell. “And we look forward to helping our customers make net zero possible and achieve their decarbonization goals.”

AFCC officials congratulated Origin Materials for assisting with the transformation from a petroleum-based economy to a biobased economy and contributing to a cleaner and safer planet. When Origin Materials announced Sarnia would be the location for its first plant, building and equipment costs were estimated at $6 million. The company has not confirmed that the project came in on budget but construction has gone smoothly, according to quarterly company reports. All 17 core process modules were installed six months ahead of schedule and the construction timeline is on track, with mechanical completion expected by the end of 2022, a company spokesman told The Journal.

While numerous employees were hired at a job fair in April, the company continues to recruit for several different roles including chemical processing, IT, engineering and analytics.

More like this