Wilmar International Limited, one of Asia’s leading agribusinesses, and Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc., a high-growth specialty chemicals company, have begun shipping commercial products, including novel specialty chemicals, to customers from their first world-scale joint venture biorefinery, located in Gresik, Indonesia. The biorefinery is the first based on Elevance’s proprietary metathesis technology.
The commercial-scale manufacturing facility produces novel specialty chemicals, including multifunctional esters such as 9-decenoic methyl ester, a unique distribution of bio-based alpha and internal olefins including decene and a premium mixture of oleochemicals. It has a capacity of 180kMT (approximately 400 million pounds) with the ability to expand up to 360kMT (approximately 800 million pounds) of products.
The high-value performance specialty chemicals, olefins and oleochemicals will be used in personal care products, detergents and cleaners, lubricants and additives, engineered polymers and other specialty chemicals markets. These specialty chemicals enable detergents to be more concentrated and clean better in cold water; improved solvency for better hard surface cleaners; lubricant base oils with improved stability and fuel economy; and unique monomers for bio-based polymers and engineered plastics, including long chain polyamides, polyurethanes and polyesters.
The new plant is located within Wilmar’s integrated manufacturing complex in Gresik, Indonesia. The biorefinery will initially operate using palm oil, but it is capable of running on multiple renewable oil feedstocks, including mustard, soybean and, when they become commercially available, jatropha or algal oils.