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Amyris partners with Queensland on Biofutures Acceleration Program

US-headed industrial bioscience company Amyris, Inc., and the Government of Queensland, Australia have announced the next step in their plans to develop a leading industrial biotechnology hub in Southeast Asia. Plans call for developing a new production plant with support from local partners to produce Amyris's sugarcane-based ingredient called farnesene, which is used in products including cosmetic emollients, fragrances, nutraceuticals, polymers, and lubricants.

Acceleration of this project, which was first announced on December 6, 2016, came out of the Queensland Government’s Biofutures Acceleration Program that offers support to companies to build commercial-scale biorefineries in regional Queensland. According to a statement, Amyris was chosen based on its “legacy expertise” in operating such production facilities.

Amyris is seeking to replicate its successful biorefinery in Brazil and sees Queensland as an ideal location due to the abundance of sugarcane and close proximity to Asia. The Queensland Government’s funding and support for biorefinery projects will create high-value jobs and investment in regional Queensland by using renewable feedstocks to create biofuel and other bioproducts, said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The company’s proposed biorefinery would aim to produce 23 000 tonnes per annum of a sugarcane derived ingredient called farnesene which is used in a wide range of products including biofuels, cosmetics, fragrances, nutraceuticals, polymers, and lubricants.

We are very pleased with the commitment of the Queensland Government to be leaders of the Bioeconomy. Our growing demand in China for vitamins and the Asian demand for cosmetics and fragrances supports a new speciality farnesene fermentation factory in Queensland. The funding from the Queensland government along with the operating expertise and sugarcane base of our local partner make this factory possible and enable savings from our current production in Brazil and the associated shipping costs. Like all our new projects, this factory is expected to be sold out when it starts operating with agreements to supply our current partners in China and other Asian markets. Queensland offers an excellent location option for Amyris with its favourable business climate, extensive sugar industry and geographic proximity to these markets, said John Melo, President & CEO of Amyris.

Amyris and the Government of Queensland have successfully partnered on a number of initiatives since 2010 designed to foster adoption of renewable product solutions targeting large global markets while also supporting the development of a Queensland-based biotechnology industry using feedstock from local sugarcane.

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