The production of amorphous silica from rice husk, based on technology of the Russian-based company Risilika will amount to $ 30 million worth of investements.
"Risilika", the RVC Seed Fund's portfolio company jointly with Chinese Harbin nanotechnology company "Shenlin" have agreed with the People's Government of County Qinan in Heilongjiang Province to establish on Chinese soil a joint venture, specialized in producing and trading amorphous silicon dioxide (ASD), derived from rice husk and straw. Risilika's technology reduces the production cost of ADC almost twenty fold and, in fact, is environmentally friendly.
The parties have agreed on a two-round investment in the joint venture. The first phase will take place from 2016 to 2018. For this period the Chinese partners will invest US $ 8.6 million in the construction of a Qinan-based plant, capable to produce 5,000 tons per year of ADC. The second round of investment will occur in 2018-2019. The investment worth of 21.4 million US dollars will be intended for the consistent increase in the plant's annual capacity up to 23,000 tons of finished products, as well as the construction of similar facilities in the area.
Risilika has been developing technology of extracting ASD from rice husk and rice straw since mid-2000s. This substance is widely used to manufacture various types of rubber, for example, Pirelli, the global giant in tyre production, makes active use of the chemical. Additionally, ASD is used to produce sealants and lubricants, as well as products of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and paint industry. In 2011, the company was invested by RVC Seed Fund in collaboration with the company Venova. In the same year Risilika amalgamated an experimental laboratory and technological line to refine the technology of producing amorphous silica from rice husk and launch the production in the industrial park "Technopolis "Moskvich" and a full-scale production site near Moscow in 2014. Since 2014 Risilika has been the resident of Skolkovo, the energy efficiency cluster.
The technology used by Risilika tend to the area "green chemistry" and allow the production of environmentally friendly chemicals from unused agricultural waste — rice husk and rice straw with high added value. The production cost of ADC is incomparably superior to that of Evonic, a well-known global producer of AEROSIL® brand. Yet, unlike its competitors, Risilika manages a totally clean and waste-free production. For example, the pyrolysis gas generated during the processing of rice husk is converted into thermal energy, which is used to cater to technological needs of the enterprise. Besides, the Risilica product can be customized, so the company has every chance of earning a prominent place in the global market, — said Alexey Teleshev, director of the RVC Seed Fund.
Today rice husk is a dump waste and virtually inexhaustible source of raw materials. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, in 2015 the global rice harvest reached 486 million tonnes. At the same time the rice-processing elevators do not process 20% of waste — husks and straw accordingly, the annual volume of unused rice husk is about 100 million tons.
About MIC Softline Venture Partners RVC
RVC Seed Fund, Limited Liability Company (RVC Seed Fund or the Fund) was established on October 22, 2009 in implementation of the Basic Provisions of RVC JSC Strategy. The participants of the Fund are JSC "RVC" (99.9 %) and the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in the scientific and technical sector (0.1 %). The Fund is focused on investing in the Russian innovative companies with high growth potential in domestic and foreign innovation and technology markets.
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