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New Sri Lanka joint venture to produce biobased superabsorbent polymers

New Sri Lanka joint venture to produce biobased superabsorbent polymers, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), CIC Holdings PLC, Chemanex PLC, Asia packaging
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), CIC Holdings PLC, and Chemanex PLC have formed a joint venture—Chemcel Pvt Ltd—that will build and operate a processing facility near Colombo, Sri Lanka, to manufacture bio-based superabsorbent polymers, which are commonly used in food packaging, personal-care products and various industrial applications.

Chemanex, is a speciality chemical manufacturer and supplier to both local and export markets, while CIC Holdings is a major input and technology supplier to the agricultural sector of Sri Lanka, involved not only in crop cultivation, but also animal feed and procurement.

ADM - a US company that transforms crops into food ingredients, animal feeds and agriculturally derived fuels and chemicals - will be the majority owner of the venture and will market the plant’s production of ADM’s BioSAP -brand superabsorbents.

The BioSAP produced at the plant will be derived from starches obtained from agricultural feedstocks; superabsorbent polymers, or SAPs, are traditionally produced from petroleum derivatives.

“The marketplace is eager for renewable, high-performance alternatives to petroleum-based superabsorbents,” said Chris Cuddy, president, ADM Sweeteners and Starches. “The participants in this joint venture have considerable experience developing, manufacturing and marketing renewable chemicals from agricultural sources, so we’re optimistic about the value our collaboration will create for our customers.”

“Our companies have consistently looked at ways to add value to both domestic and imported agricultural products,” said B.R.L. Fernando, chairman, CIC Holdings PLC and Chemanex PLC. “This new joint venture offers us a technology platform that combines the research and development expertise of a major global agricultural processor with the available facilities and knowledge of CIC and Chemanex. This relationship would be a starting point in adding value for agricultural commodities produced locally, which in turn could help provide opportunities for stable incomes in our rural communities."


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