Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

February 19, 2014 14:13 ET

Harper Government Supports Canada's First Commercial Bio-based Chemical Plant

SARNIA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 19, 2014) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today announced a significant repayable investment by the Government of Canada in BioAmber Sarnia, to help the industry leader build the world's largest commercial plant to produce bio-based succinic acid.

Succinic acid is a key chemical used by a wide variety of manufacturing industries.

This Government investment will help to generate jobs and enhance the bottom line of corn farmers by supporting the commercialization of an innovative manufacturing process that uses corn-derived feedstock to produce succinic acid. This process replaces the conventional petrochemical method of producing the acid, and is carbon neutral.

Quick Facts

  • Succinic acid is used to manufacture a wide range of products, including paints, plastics, resins, de-icers, pharmaceuticals, solvents, food additives, fabrics and cosmetics.
  • The global chemical industry is attempting to diminish its reliance on high-cost petroleum products, leading to an increasing demand for low-cost and sustainable processes such as BioAmber's carbon-neutral process.
  • This project will benefit corn growers and the local economies that rely on them, as the new plant will need 1.5 million bushels, worth $10 million, in its first year of production. This amount is expected to increase to three million bushels per year, worth $20 million, by 2015.
  • The new plant will generate 60 direct, highly skilled jobs in the facility by 2017, in addition to 155 engineering and construction jobs.
  • Funding for this project was provided under the AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698 million initiative under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework, designed to accelerate the pace of innovation by supporting research and development activities in agri-innovations.


"Our government remains focused on creating new opportunities for Canadian farmers and businesses to grow and prosper. This 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."

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

"BioAmber Sarnia's products benefit the environment, our customers, employees and the community. We appreciate Agriculture Canada's support as we build the world's largest commercial scale, bio-based succinic acid plant. It will extend markets internationally for local farmers, consume less energy, have a carbon neutral manufacturing footprint and still be very cost competitive compared to petroleum succinic acid."

Mike Hartmann, Executive Vice President BioAmber

Associated Links

Growing Forward 2

AgriInnovation Program

Contact Information

  • Jeff English
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

    Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada