Sime Darby Taking Stake in US Industrial Biotech Verdezyne

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd is taking a stake in US-based industrial biotechnology company, Verdezyne Inc. to pursue strategic growth areas for its plantation business.

The conglomerate said on Monday a new unit, Sime Darby Renewables under its plantations unit, would spearhead this initiative to focuses on converting traditional and non-traditional palm-based commodities into products of higher value.

According to Sime Darby, California-based Verdezyne has proprietary technologies to competitively produce chemicals derived from sustainable materials, which can be found in the oil palm value chain.

“These chemicals are used to make everyday items like clothing, footwear and adhesives, as well as industrial products such as automobile parts,” it said. Currently, these chemicals are mainly derived from petroleum-based feedstocks such as benzene and butadiene.

Sime Darby president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh said: “Sime Darby is taking strategically measured steps to build and nurture a sustainable portfolio of palm-related industrial biotechnology companies.

“There are exciting opportunities which can leverage on our substantial plantation assets and we are keen to capitalise these for future growth.”

Verdezyne’s current products targeted for commercialisation have a potential combined market size of approximately RM37bil with laboratory, pilot and demonstration-scale validation already carried out. Results so far have attracted favourable interest from the market.

Source : The Star

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