Over 30 staff hired for restart of former BioAmber

Bio-Industrial Park entrance off of Vidal St. S. (BlackburnNews.com File Photo by Briana Carnegie)

A lot of work is underway behind the scenes to restart production at Sarnia’s former BioAmber site this fall.

LCY Biosciences plans to zero in on succinic acid production first, the same product BioAmber specialized in, before expanding production to nutraceuticals.

Plant Manager Trevor MacLeod said they’ve now hired about 35 employees.

“There’s been a lot of activity here,” said MacLeod. “We have pretty much finished our hiring drive at this point, almost all of the staff are on board and we are working hard at training those individuals and getting ready for start-up, as well as putting in place all of our supply and service agreements.”

He said they’re planning to restart the Vidal Street plant in early October.

“Probably one of the larger items that we’re working on is the installation of an ultrafiltration system, which will greatly help our fermentation quality,” said MacLeod.

The nutraceutical operation would make products like vitamin A and beta carotene.

MacLeod said about $3 million is being spent on the short term improvement plan.

LCY Biosciences bought the plant for $4.34 million as part of BioAmber’s court-ordered liquidation process.

BioAmber declared bankruptcy and shut its doors in 2018.