BIC Invests In Comet Biorefining

Comet Biorefining has received another shot in the arm as it moves to build a new $70-million manufacturing plant on the TransAlta site in Sarnia by 2018.

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) Executive Director Sandy Marshall says they’ve made a $500,000 equity investment in the London-based company.

“This is about the ongoing development of the hybrid chemistry cluster in Sarnia-Lambton and this is the next piece in the puzzle after BioAmber,” says Marshall. “We reviewed a lot of different companies that had various technologies to convert corn stover and wheat straw into sugars, and the Comet technology was one of the better technologies we saw. We’ve been working with them over the last few years to bring the technology along and now is a good time for us to take an equity stake in Comet as they move towards construction of their first commercial plant in Sarnia-Lambton.”

The commercial-scale operation will use corn stover and wheat straw to produce high-purity cellulosic sugar that can be used in the manufacture of plastics, lubricants, paints and other forms of bio-based products.

Comet has received $10.9-million from the federal government to help build its plant and has already signed a deal with succinic acid producer BioAmber to supply high-purity dextrose to the Montreal-based company’s Sarnia manufacturing facility.