BBGI Fermbox Bio set to produce enzyme
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BBGI Fermbox Bio set to produce enzyme

Enzyme developer BBGI Fermbox Bio is preparing to produce an enzyme that can change agricultural waste into a variety of new products after being granted an investment incentive from the Board of Investment (BoI) to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The company, a joint venture between BBGI and Fermbox Bio, plans to produce 200,000 litres of cellulostic enzyme under an investment budget of 440 million baht in the first phase, said Narit Therdsteerasukdi, secretary-general of the BoI.

It plans to increase the capacity to 1 million litres in the long term.

BBGI is the biotechnology arm of energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation Plc while Fermbox Bio is an India-based firm specialising in the research and production of synbio products.

Synbio, an abbreviation of synthetic biology, is a field of science that involves redesigning organisms, notably microbes, for specific purposes by engineering them to have new abilities.

The cellulosic enzyme decomposes cellulose, a complex carbohydrate found in scrap wood, rice straw, cassava pulp and bagasse, and turns it into glucose.

Developers can use glucose as a raw material to produce a range of biological products, including biological plastics and sustainable aviation fuel.

BBGI Fermbox Bio also plans to use synbio technology to produce other products in the food supplement, cosmetic and energy sectors.

Its production facility will be located in Chachoengsao. Parts of the province, together with Chon Buri and Rayong, form the EEC, which is set to be Thailand's high-tech industrial hub.

The factory is categorised as a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO), which resemble original equipment manufacturer-related businesses which focus on making products used as components in other products.

"BBGI Fermbox Bio will support the government's plan to make Thailand a bio hub of Asean. Authorities want to promote new S-curve industries, targeting agriculture and biotechnology," said Mr Narit.

Thailand aims to be a regional bio hub within 2027.

The BoI earlier reported a 31% year-on-year surge in the value of new investment project proposals in the first quarter, worth 228 billion baht.

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