BioAmber Inc., a producer of chemical intermediates, has opened its new bio-based succinic acid plant in Ontario, Canada.

The facility in the city of Sarnia makes renewable chemicals from sugar instead of petroleum, using technology that is lower cost than oil-based production.

Claimed to be the world’s largest succinic acid plant, the facility will use glucose sourced from agricultural suppliers in southern Ontario to produce up to 30,000 tons per year of the chemical intermediate.

According to BioAmber, demand is rising for renewable building block chemicals in large global markets.

Succinic acid has a wide range of applications, including plastics, paints, textiles and coatings, artificial leather, food and flavors and personal care products.

Welcoming the new plant, Brad Duguid, Member of Provincial Parliament Scarborough-Centre, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, said: “The opening of the BioAmber Sarnia facility is key to the development of Sarnia’s very unique bio-industrial complex, delivering good jobs, significant exports, and diverse markets for Ontario farmers with the full support of the Government of Ontario.

“The production and development of sustainable chemicals by BioAmber, working from within the existing chemistry cluster in Sarnia, is an economic and environmental win for the community and the province.”

The company’s bio-based process for making succinic acid results in a 100 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 60 percent reduction in energy consumption compared to the equivalent production process that uses petroleum.