Rockley China and Jilin Songyuan Laihe Chemicals Co Ltd announce Joint Venture to produce Industrial Scale Biobutanol from Agricultural Waste

6th February 2012

(Beijing, China and Oxford, UK) 6 February 2012. Rockley Group and Jilin Songyuan Laihe Chemicals Co Ltd have today announced the formation of a joint venture company, Laihe Rockley Bio-Chemicals Ltd.

The objective of Laihe Rockley Bio-Chemicals Ltd (LRB) is to produce biobutanol on an industrial scale from agricultural waste in Jilin province, north east China.

Rockley has invested in the new enterprise through its Rockley China Fund and Jilin Songyuan Laihe Chemicals Co Ltd has transferred its biobutanol refinery in Jilin - the world’s largest biobutanol facility - into LRB.

Jilin Songyuan Laihe Chemicals Co Ltd is a leading producer of renewable biochemicals such as acetone, butanol and ethanol (ABE). The biobutanol facility transferred to LRB has an ABE production capacity of 190,000 tonnes per year.

Rockley China Fund LP is a sustainable technologies private equity fund managed in Beijing. The Rockley China Fund invests in developing businesses focused on the energy, environment, ICT and health and safety sectors.

LRB will focus on the commercialisation of ABE fermentation technology for use in renewable biochemical and biofuel applications at industrial scale. Major production facilities in Songyuan, Jilin and Lianyungang, Jiangsu will be re-commissioned by LRB to use agricultural waste as feedstock and produce biobutanol. An additional benefit will be reduced energy costs for the refineries.

LRB subsequently plans to ramp up its production in Jilin and Jiangsu and expand its operation to other key agricultural bio-mass production provinces in China such as Shandong and Shanxi.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Laihe Rockley Bio-chemicals Ltd, Mr Wenbin Yang, said: “The ability to efficiently utilize non-food biomass resources and convert agricultural waste to renewable biochemicals and biofuels enables us to create a viable commercial alternative to petroleum-based chemicals and fuels that will significantly reduce carbon emissions. We are delighted to be working closely with the Rockley China team to further develop this exciting technology and progress towards large scale commercial production. This kind of initiative is key to maintaining our leading position in the biobutanol industry”.

Rockley Group Partner, Dr Yanong Ning, said: “We focus on backing technology based businesses that represent great opportunities and allow us to unlock hidden value that we share with our investment funds and partners. Through LRB we have combined a proven ABE fermentation technology with the operational infrastructure and commercial expertise required to achieve industrial scale-up.”


About Jilin Songyuan Laihe Chemicals Co. Ltd

Jilin Songyuan Laihe Chemicals Co., Ltd is located in Jiangnan Industrial Area of the Economy and Technology Development Zone of Songyuan City, Jilin Province. Its ABE operation focuses on the combination of state of the art agricultural waste processing and advanced ABE stain developing technologies.

The company operates two subsidiaries that specialise in the processing of agricultural wastes: Songyuan Berry Bio-polyols Company and Songyuan Laihe Paper Company.

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About Rockley Group

Rockley Group invests in developing businesses focused on large and timely markets. Its investment activities in China are conducted by the Rockley China Fund LP and Rockley Investment Management Beijing Co. Ltd, which focus on providing expansion capital for established companies with proven technologies in the energy and sustainability sectors for the China market.

The Rockley China Fund includes Rockley Luxin, a fund with the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation (SDHTIC), the high technology venture fund owned by the Shandong provincial government, and the Zhongying Rockley Fund, a fund with the Shanxi Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation (SSMEIC), the high technology venture fund owned by the Shanxi provincial government.

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