Elevance/Genting to set up biorefinery in Malaysia

US-based Elevance Renewable Sciences, a speciality chemicals company that creates chemicals from natural oils, has entered into a new collaboration with oil palm estate owner Genting Plantations Berhad through Genting Integrated Biorefinery Sdn Bhd (GIB), to be located in the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.

The 25:75 collaboration between Elevance and Genting Plantations Berhad will build a 240,000-tonne metathesis biorefinery based on Elevance’s proprietary metathesis technology, and will produce renewable, high-performance olefins and speciality chemicals that can be used in multiple end-product applications, including lubricants, surfactants and detergents.

As part of the collaboration agreement, GIB has agreed to pay Elevance license and design fees, and Elevance will provide intellectual property rights, knowledge transfer, and technical and consulting services. Elevance will also be exclusively responsible for the sale of all speciality chemicals that are produced at the biorefinery.

“This collaboration extends our ability to deliver novel products with improved performance, helping to achieve a paradigm shift in the way companies are addressing industry and consumer demand — making better products while leaving a smaller environmental footprint — in personal care products, detergents and cleaners, engineered polymers, lubricants and additives, and other speciality chemicals markets,” said Elevance CEO K’Lynne Johnson.

“Genting Integrated Biorefinery will spearhead our Group’s expansion into the high value-added palm oil downstream segment that will showcase palm oil’s immense potential to serve an ever-increasing variety of applications and further complement the many pioneering initiatives we are pursuing in our ongoing drive to unlock palm oil’s full potential through scientific innovation,” said Genting Plantations Berhad Chief Executive Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay.

The Elevance metathesis biorefinery produces multiple high-value chemical streams similar to petroleum-based refineries. Elevance’s low-pressure, low-temperature process uses Nobel Prize-winning innovations in metathesis catalysis that consume significantly less energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% compared to petrochemical technologies. A selective catalyst is used to break down natural oils and recombine fragments, resulting in a process with lower source pollution, production costs and capital expenditures than petrochemical refineries, according to Elevance.

Genting Plantations, a 54.6%-owned subsidiary of Genting Berhad, commenced operations in 1980. It has a landbank of about 66,000 ha in Malaysia and some 180,000 ha in Indonesia held through joint ventures. It owns seven oil mills in Malaysia and two in Indonesia, with a total milling capacity of 405 tonnes per hour. Genting Plantations has also diversified into property development to unlock the value of its strategically located landbank and has invested significantly in biotechnology in a major effort to apply genomics to increase crop productivity and sustainability.


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