In 2015, we focused our efforts on scaling-up our Isobutene process: from our pilot plant in Pomacle, we delivered our first batches of purified isobutene to Arkema, France’s leading chemicals producer. We also transformed a batch of isobutene into isooctane, a premium biofuel, which we shipped to Audi. During the same time period, construction began on our 100 tonnes/year demo plant in Germany.
The year 2016 will focus on business development: a growing number of industrialists from various sectors (cosmetics, agri-food, tyres, chemicals, fuels, domestic gas, etc.) are requesting batches of isobutene for testing purposes in the anticipation of having access to large quantities of this renewable hydrocarbon in the future.
We are already working on a first commercial plant project: IBN-One, a Joint-Venture with Cristal Union, France’s second largest sugar producer. It intends to bring into operation a 50,000 tonnes per year plant by 2018. Several other production plants projects are the subject of serious discussions on three continents. I am confident of and committed to signing agreements with top-ranking industrial partners in 2016.
Global Bioenergies will be launching the business development of its technology under mixed circumstances: on the one hand, the COP21 has led to increased environmental awareness on a global scale. On the other hand, oil prices are at their lowest and analysts have yet to reach a consensus on the timing of a rebound.
Nevertheless, our target markets in the short-term are largely uncorrelated to the price of oil: hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fermentative isobutene could be used in applications that valorize sustainable supply chains, such as specialty chemicals, cosmetics or biofuels. The recovery to normal oil pricing levels in the mid-term will allow the Isobutene process to be operated profitably in all its applications, representing a market worth US$ 20 billion, with even greater prospects in the future.
Being a Global Bioenergies shareholder means preparing a better future for the generations to come: together we are building the post-oil era based on more environmentally-friendly technologies. With your support, Global Bioenergies intends to become one of the main players in the energy and environmental transition.
Wishing all of you a great 2016,
Chief Executive Officer