New ethanol enzymes perform well for Novozymes

By Holly Jessen | October 29, 2013

Novozymes recently released its nine-month interim financial report, which reveals that the company’s new trademarked enzyme technologies, Avantec and Spirizyme Achieve, have been well received by its customers, the company said.

Avantec, which was launched one year ago, is now used to produce 20 percent of U.S. ethanol. And Spirizyme Achieve, launched only four months ago, is used to produce 10 percent of U.S. ethanol. “We’re very happy to be working with our customers to help them improve their ethanol yield and reduce costs by reducing chemicals and energy, and our customers have reacted very positively to these two new products, ” Andy Fordyce, Novozymes executive vice president told Ethanol Producer Magazine in a telephone interview.

The growth rate demonstrates great potential, especially considering the fact that ethanol production rates were down for part of the time after Avantec was released. “It has allowed us to grow much faster than the market,” he added. The growth rate of ethanol plants using Spirizyme Achieve is an even better surprise, considering it was introduced such a short time ago. That enzyme is a simpler technology, a drop-in replacement for traditional glucoamylases. “With the additional yield that it gets it’s been a real hit,” he said.

A third product, Olexa, a trademarked chemical for corn oil extraction enhancement is also performing fine. However, the market is smaller for that product than it is for the other two enzymes, the company said.

Overall, the company reported sales growth of 6 percent and growth in net profit of 8 percent. Specifically in the bioenergy sector, sales showed a strong momentum, growing by 5 percent when the first nine months of 2013 are compared to the same time period last year. The company attributed it to good progress in sales of Avantec and early adoption of Spirizyme Achieve.

Peder Holk Nielsen, president and CEO of Novozymes, said he was pleased to see that sales in all areas were contributing to growth. “On the earnings side we’re in good shape, and we’ve been able to take margins slightly higher compared with the first 9 months of 2012,” he said in a prepared statement. “I'm excited to see our customers and partners advance cellulosic ethanol around the world, and our new collaboration with Raízen in Brazil offers many interesting perspectives in an important region for this industry.”

Fordyce pointed to positive developments in the ethanol industry as a whole. “From an industry viewpoint it’s great to see the new corn crop come in,” he said. “It’s excellent to see ethanol prices holding up and of course corn prices, coming down, which gives our customers nice crush margins. And that’s been a real nice fresh air into the industry. It has gotten a lot people out from the tough times (in) the first six months of this year.”