MOSCOW, Oct 31, 2012 -- During the first Moscow International Forum for Innovative Development Open Innovations, the State Corporation ‘Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs’ (Vnesheconombank), venture capital firm Bright Capital Management, and Renmatix, the leading manufacturer of biobased sugar intermediates, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly consider mutually beneficial relationships, potential collaboration and investment in the biochemical and biofuels industries.
“Russia’s rich endowment of natural resources offers abundant opportunities for our technology. This MOU marks a step towards increasing the footprint of the Plantrose process,” said Duncan Cross, Renmatix Director and head of the company’s Russian initiatives. “Renmatix’s water-based conversion technology quickly and efficiently deconstructs woody biomass —in ample supply throughout Russia— into the affordable building blocks for bioethanol, and other sustainable chemicals and fuels.”
Under the MOU, the companies are working together to pursue the development of a series of industrial plants that will produce cellulosic sugar from woody biomass, with near term end markets serving cellulosic ethanol demand in Europe, by leveraging Renmatix’s proprietary Plantrose™ technology. The total amount of potential investment is up to approximately 750 million USD.
Renmatix and Bright Capital will collaborate to bring financial and strategic partners together for market development. The parties will manage primary aspects of future licensing for Plantrose technology into the Russian Federation, and engagement of key Russian and international industrial partners – such as wood processors – to participate in successful development of such facilities and facilitate equity financing. In order to further develop the relationships established by the MOU, the parties have agreed to establish a task team with representatives from each organization.
Valery Krivenko, Managing Partner of Bright Capital noted the potential impact of the agreement “could make Russia to utilize the presence of the world's largest reserves of cellulosic biomass, and leverage a sound geographic location in relation to the main consumers of biofuels and biochemicals by means of creating efficient export industries”.
Renmatix is the leading manufacturer of cellulosic sugar, an enabling feedstock for petroleum alternatives used in the global biochemical and fuels markets. The company’s proprietary Plantrose™ process challenges conventional sugar economics by cheaply converting cellulosic biomass – from wood waste to agricultural residue – into useful, cost-effective sugars. Renmatix’s supercritical hydrolysis technology deconstructs non-food biomass an order of magnitude faster than other processes and enhances its cost advantage by using no significant consumables. Renmatix is privately held, with operations in Georgia (USA) currently capable of converting three dry tons of cellulosic biomass to Plantro™ sugar per day, and a world-class technical center in Pennsylvania (USA). For more information, visit www.renmatix.com.
Vnesheconombank is a state corporation performing functions of the Bank for Development. It operates to diversify the Russian economy, boost its competitive edge and encourage the inflow of investments. Vnesheconombank funds major investment projects aimed at removing economic growth infrastructure restrictions. VEB does not compete with commercial credit institutions and participates only in those projects that are not capable of receiving private investors’ financing. Under the Memorandum of the Bank’s Financial Policies Vnesheconombank is to extend credits and guarantees for projects payback periods of which exceed 5 years and a total value is more than 2 trillion rubles. In 2011, the Bank’s loan portfolio amounted to almost 500 billion rubles. Under the Bank’s new strategy it is to increase to 850 billion rubles by 2015 and the proportion of innovation projects is to amount to 20%.