Wilmar International invests in bioproducts
By PR Newswire
May 3, 2012, Tuscaloosa, AL - Inventure Renewables and its sister company, Inventure International, have closed a $5 Million round of financing with lead investor Wilmar International taking an equity stake in both companies.
By PR Newswire
May 3, 2012, Tuscaloosa, AL – Inventure Renewables and its sister company, Inventure
International, have closed a $5 Million round of financing with an
option to increase funding in a second tranche to a total of $12
Million. Lead investor Wilmar International has taken an equity stake in
both companies. A portion of the funds will be used to build and
operate a pilot plant to convert palm fiber waste and sugar cane bagasse
into mixed sugars, which can be used for fermentation into ethanol,
butanol, and the creation of carbon-neutral building blocks for a range
of industrial chemicals frequently fabricated from petroleum.
CMEA Capital is also participating in this round of funding, along with several other investors.
"The market potential for converting palm waste and sugar cane bagasse
into sugars is tremendous," said Mark Tegen, CEO of Inventure
Renewables. "In Indonesia and Malaysia alone, there are more than 700
palm mills, generating over 120 million tons of palm waste (fiber,
shells, trunk wood) a year. This biomass, if successfully converted to
sugar, represents over $5 billion per year in biomass based sugar
potential. This round of funding will allow us to illustrate our
technology's efficacy with the pilot plant, and proceed to large scale
"We are constantly looking for innovative ways to create more value from
our processes," said Rahul Kale, Group Head – OleoChemicals and
Biofuels, of Wilmar International. "The process technology that
Inventure has developed has potential as a cost-effective method for
turning palm and sugar biomass residues into valuable products."
"We are proud of the progress Inventure has made in scaling their
technology for the thermochemical conversion of biomass to fuels and
chemicals, and in building a sustainable business together with
outstanding strategic partners like Wilmar", said Michael Melnick, PhD,
Venture Partner at CMEA Capital and member of the board of directors at
Inventure Renewables (www.inventurechem.com) develops patented and patent pending process
technology for the production of third generation green chemicals,
synthetic jet fuel, biodiesel, and green gasoline from biomass.
Feedstocks – such as palm waste, algae, corn stover and cobs, cane
bagasse, switch grass, wood fiber, rice husk and rice straw–are
processed quickly and efficiently, using a chemical catalytic process,
to generate fuels, fuel intermediates, chemicals and chemical
intermediates. Inventure Renewables operates at the Alabama Innovation
and Mentoring of Entrepreneur Center at The University of Alabama, where
innovations are brought out of the center and into commerce.
Inventure International (Pte) Limited, a company incorporated in
Singapore, will operate the pilot plant using Inventure Renewables'
technologies to convert palm fiber waste and other biomass into mixed
industrial sugars, and will spearhead the commercialization /commercial
sale of the processes.
Wilmar International Limited (www.wilmar-international.com), founded in 1991 and headquartered in
Singapore, is Asia's leading agribusiness group. Wilmar is ranked
amongst the largest listed companies by market capitalisation on the
Singapore Exchange. Wilmar's business activities include oil palm
cultivation, oilseeds crushing, edible oils refining, sugar milling and
refining, specialty fats, oleochemicals, biodiesel and fertilisers
manufacturing and grains processing. At the core of Wilmar's strategy is
a resilient integrated agribusiness model that encompasses the entire
value chain of the agricultural commodity processing business, from
origination and processing to branding, merchandising and distribution
of a wide range of agricultural products. It has over 300 manufacturing
plants and an extensive distribution network covering China, India,
Indonesia and some 50 other countries, and a workforce of over 90,000
Wilmar's portfolio of high quality processed agricultural products is
the preferred choice of the food manufacturing industry, as well as the
industrial and consumer food businesses. Its consumer-packed products
occupy a leading share in its targeted markets. Through scale,
integration and the logistical advantages of its business model, Wilmar
is able to extract margins at every step of the value chain, thereby
reaping operational synergies and cost efficiencies. Wilmar remains a
firm advocate of sustainable growth and is committed to its role as a
responsible corporate citizen.