Amyris, Cosan JV Launches 100% Renewable Base Oils

Jim Lane Portrait of a breakout: Amyris (AMRS), Cosan (CZZ) JV Novii launches “next generation of revolutionary oils” touting “unmatched value” and “unbeatable economics” In California, Novvi unveiled two new 100 percent renewable base oil products, a 100 percent renewable polyalphaolefin (PAO) Group IV and a 100 percent renewable version of its NovaSpec Group III+ base oil. Both will be manufactured at the company’s production facility in Houston. Base oils are blended with additives to make the engine oils and lubricants sold on the market today. So, here’s the technical scoop. Novvi’s 100 percent renewable...

Why Traffic Lights Are Turning Green For BioAmber

Jim Lane As many technologies pivot or delay, one train keeps chugging on its route to biosuccinic acid, and markets like BDO, resins and polyols. What is it about the business model that keeps on working? What can every integrated biorefinery learn from its approach? In Minneapolis, BioAmber (BIOA) just announced a contract to supply a minimum of 80% of PTTMCC Biochem’s total bio-succinic acid needs until the end of 2017. PTTMCC Biochem is a joint venture established by Mitsubishi Chemical and PTT, Thailand’s largest oil and gas company, to produce and sell polybutylene succinate (PBS),...

Amyris: The New Colossus Aims To Unlock Its Golden Door

Jim Lane In California, Amyris (AMRS) reported a Q2 net loss of $13.8M on revenues of $9,6M, up from $7.8M in Q2 2015. Revenues rose 27% from the corresponding period in 2015 primarily driven by the shipment of a new novel fragrance product, as well as Neossance Squalane sales. At the same time, Amyris, which has recorded $18.4M in revenues for the first half, re-affirmed guidance for the year that it would reach $90M in annual sales and positive cash flow from operations in 2017. With that, Amyris would have increased revenues by 400% in the second half,...

Amyris’ Date With Destiny: Better Late Than Never

Jim Lane Amyris was dismissed by the critics some time ago, but is ately continuing a big comeback. We have become so accustomed to receiving obituaries of Amyris (AMRS) that recently I was inspired to re-read the Devotions of John Donne to discover if, in fact, he wrote, “Send not to know for Whom the Bell Tolls, it Tolls for Amyris.” Amyris, we were recently assured by short-sellers, was as dead as a doornail, just as Jacob Marley was reputed to be in the opening stave of A Christmas Carol and it is therefore...

Amyris’ Missing Magic

by Debra Fiakas CFA Since the end of August last year shares of renewable chemicals developer Amyris (AMRS:  Nasdaq) have been in a steady decline.  Since falling through a line of price support near the $2.50 price level in early December 2014, it appears there is no safety net for AMRS.  The stock set a new 52-week low in the third week in January 2015.  Unfortunately, a popular technical indicator, the average directional index, is providing a very strong indication that the stock could fall even further.   With its stock chart providing no hints at a reversal in...

Solazyme Shares Soar On Sasol Deal

Jim Lane Bioenergy’s #1 company surges on the exchanges after big Sasol, AkzoNobel partnership announcements. In California, Solazyme (SZYM) announced a Q2 loss of $25.8M, compared to a Q2 2012 loss of $19.2M, on revenues of $11.2M, down from $13.2M for Q2 2012, as government funded revenues declined as expected. Excluding the government sector, sales jumped 28% year on year despite the lack of the big capacity that Moema and Clinton will represent when completed. Product gross margins were a very healthy 70%, in line with guidance. Solazyme shares were up 12.95 percent today at market close....

Amber Means Caution But BioAmber Means Go

Jim Lane In Canada, BioAmber (BIOA) recorded net income of $4.8M for Q2 2016 and an operating loss of $1.0M on revenues of $2.5M. Revenues were up 73 percent over Q1 and 637 percent compared to Q2 2015. For those less familiar with the company, it produces succinic acid from sugar at a first commercial-scale plant which opened recently in Sarnia, Ontario. Succinic acid has a small existing global market but can be converted into a variety of chemical building blocks used to produce a range of plastics, paints, textiles, food additives and personal care products. If for...

American Refining Group Joins Amyris And Cosan In Renewable Base Oil JV

Jim Lane IIn California, American Refining Group has committed to a 33.3% equity investment into Novvi , a joint venture of Amyris (AMRS) and Cosan (CZZ). Both Amyris and Cosan will continue to hold share ownership stakes in Novvi, together with ARG. It’s not a tiny market by any means. The global markets for base oils and lubricants, are expected to reach $42 billion and $70 billion in size, respectively, by 2020, according to Amyris. For ARG: Why Novvi, why now? Think novel performance. It goes in two directions. First, there’s low-carbon performance customers want...

BioAmber’s $150 Million IPO: The 10-Minute Version

Jim Lane A first-to-market leader in bio-succinic acid comes to the public markets with its IPO. Can BioAmber translate a lead in succinic acid’s smallish market into leadership in a vast array of high-priced renewable chemicals? Here’s our 10-minute version of the BioAmber IPO, with a translation of the risks into English. In Minnesota, BioAmber has filed an S-1 registration statement for a proposed $150 million initial public offering. The number of shares to be offered in the proposed offering and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. The lead book-running managers for...

5 Minute Guide to BioAmber

Jim Lane A quick overview of BioAmber (BIOA) Company description From the company’s 2013 S-1: “Our proprietary technology platform combines industrial biotechnology, an innovative purification process and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstocks into chemicals that are cost-competitive replacements for petroleum-derived chemicals. The development of our current organism was originally funded by the DOE in the late 1990s, was further developed and scaled up, and optimized at the large-scale manufacturing facility in France. “We manufacture our bio-succinic acid in a facility using a commercial scale 350,000 liter fermenter in Pomacle, France…We have produced 487,000 pounds, or 221 metric...

Amyris: Biochemical Bargain?

Industrial bio-chemical developer Amyris, Inc. (AMRS:  Nasdaq) has been in the headlines recently  -  some pointing to solid fundamental progress, others ‘not so much.’  Amyris recently announced a new relationship with Givaudan (GIVN: VX), a supplier of active ingredients for cosmetics.  The two have agreed to collaborate in research and development on proprietary fragrances.  Earlier this month Amyris announced the launch by Takasago International Corporation (TYO:  4914) of a new fragrance created with Amyris’ technology. Cosmetics and fragrances present large market opportunities and the strength of demand for personal care products supports strong profit margins.  The relationships are likely...

Amryris: Zombie With Attitude

Jim Lane Zombies with attitude. New partnerships for making magic molecules and exploitin’ the heck out of ’em. These days, nothing in Hollywood beats a great zombie movie, more than 50 have been released in recent years. Zombies rise from the dead, and change everything around them. It’s not always pretty, or predictable, but they’re a disruptive force. Well, Amyris (AMRS) is proving to be a zombie story these days starting with being labeled a “zombie company” by The Motley Fool. TMF writes: Amyris was a pioneering industrial biotech that went from darling of the field to a company now trading well...

Solazyme’s Not-So-Puzzling Rebranding

Jim Lane Solazyme undergoes Focus Reassignment Surgery and re-emerges as TerraVia. Industrials to spin off, nutrition the focus now. The what, the why, and the “why now?” In California, Solazyme (SZYM) said that it is now focusing exclusively on food, nutrition and specialty ingredients, renaming the company TerraVia. Having elevated CEO and co-founder Jonathan Wolfson to the Executive Chairman post, the company says it is on the hunt for a food-business CEO, and has raised $28M from a group of foodie investors including Glenhill Capital, VMG Partners, PowerPlant Ventures, ARTIS Ventures, Simon Equities and several influential food industry...

Three Renewables Companies: No Pain, No Gain

Jim Lane In California and Canada this week, BioAmber (BIOA), Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) and the former Solazyme (SZYM) reported their Q4 and year-end results, providing between them a fascinating look at the evolution in the fuels, renewable chemicals, specialty products and nutrition that make up the advanced bioeconomy. In advanced nutrition The most spectacular news of the week belonged to TerraVia (formerly SolaZyme), which landed a 5-year, $200 million “baseload” offtake deal with Unilever, which provides a huge lift for investors and validates the economics and performance of the company’s first commercial plant, which it operates in a...

Mitsui Raises Stake In BioAmber JV

Jim Lane In Canada, Mitsui has invested an additional CDN$25 million in the BioAmber (BIOA) joint venture for 10% of the equity, increasing its stake from 30% to 40%. Mitsui will also play a stronger role in the commercialization of bio-succinic acid produced in Sarnia, providing dedicated resources alongside BioAmber’s commercial team. BioAmber will maintain a 60% controlling stake in the joint venture. “Mitsui is continuously committed to renewable chemistry and through our increased equity stake we will be more actively involved in joint venture management and sales, leveraging our global sales platforms,” said Hidebumi Kasuga, General Manager, Specialty...

TerraVia: No Going Back

Jim Lane   At the outset of his historic Conquest, Cortés gathered the men and burned the boats. As TerraVia jettisons its break-out industrial product line and completes the pivot to Food, what lies ahead in the New World? Gromeko: They’ve shot the Czar. And all his family. Oh, that’s a savage deed. What’s it for? Zhivago: It’s to show there’s no going back. Dr. Zhivago In California, TerraVia (TVIA) recorded a loss of $27.4M for Q2 2016 on revenues of $9.9M as the company made milestone announcements in its transition from industrials to nutrition including...