The Chinese biobutanol market has been important to GBL since our founding in 2003. It presents a unique opportunity for GBL for several reasons: 1) a number of ABE facilities have been built in China in recent years utilizing limited and often inadequate technology; 2) feedstocks are limited to starch in these facilities due to the microbial strain used by Chinese producers; and 3) the market opportunity for n-Butanol in China is huge - over 900,000 tonnes per annum and growing at over 5% per year. Approximately 50% of Chinese butanol demand is imported.
China consumes 25% of global n-Butanol demand and is a major driver in paints, coatings, adhesives and inks to support Chinese production of housing, automobiles, consumer and industrial products. The Chinese polymers market is also a major consumer of butanol in the form of acrylates. Existing Chinese biobutanol capacity exceeds 300,000 tonnes per year and is spread across over 6 sites and a number of smaller facilities in China.
Our offices in Jinan, China support our commercial relationships with virtually every major biobutanol producer in China. We have strong relationships with academic, governmental and institutional investment organizations as well. GBL currently has three projects underway in China with Laihe Chemicals, Lianhua Chemicals, and Jin Yuan Alcohols. One of these projects is based on cellulosic feedstocks, which we believe will provide us opportunities in other markets in North America and Brazil.