United States-based Verdezyne Inc., developer of renewable nylon fiber and biobased chemicals, has
partnered with Malaysian Biotechnology Corp. (BiotechCorp) to establish a biochemical production
facility in Malaysia — the company’s first in the Asia-Pacific region.
Verdezyne opened a pilot plant in the United States in November 2011 to produce adipic acid
— a component of nylon 6,6 — using its patented cost-effective yeast-based fermentation process
to derive adipic acid from nonfood-based vegetable oils. In 2012, it partnered with United
States-based Universal Fiber Systems (UFS) to produce nylon 6,6 fiber using the biobased adipic
acid for specified application areas including carpet, performance apparel and military-grade
parachutes; and it plans to partner with other companies for other applications. Verdezyne expects
the partnership with BiotechCorp will help it ramp up its adipic acid process to full
commercial-scale production using palm oil as its feedstock.
BiotechCorp, founded in 2005, is the primary biobased industry development agency in
Malaysia. The agency’s government-sponsored Bioeconomy Transformation Programme aims to maximize
opportunities in Malaysia for both Malaysian and international biotechnology enterprises.
“We are taking a very bold move in entering uncharted territories, said E. William Radany,
Ph.D., president and CEO, Verdezyne. “Nevertheless, Malaysia’s position as one of the largest palm
oil producers and its strong drive in the development of the biochemical sector has made it an
interesting location to catapult into the world’s largest chemical market, Asia.”
“BiotechCorp is committed to ensuring further assistance for Verdezyne, in light of the great
potential and favorable position of Malaysia’s ecosystem for the biochemical sector,” said Dato’
Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal, CEO, BiotechCorp. “By positioning Verdezyne in Malaysia’s Bioeconomy
Transformation Programme, I firmly believe that further value add could be created for the palm oil