Solazyme's Q1 results highlight progress at Brazil, Iowa plants

By Erin Voegele | May 06, 2014

Solayzme Inc. has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2014, reporting total revenue of $12.4 million, an increase over the $6.7 million in revenue reported for the same three-month period of 2013.

First quarter GAPP net loss was $34.7 million, compared to a net loss of $26.5 million during the first quarter of 2013. On a non-GAAP basis, the net loss was $30.5 million for the first quarter of this year, compared to a net loss of $21.5 million for the same period of the prior year.

"Q1 was an important milestone quarter for the company from both production and commercialization standpoints as we began making and selling products from Clinton/Galva, our first large scale commercial facility; our partner Unilever began using our oils in its premier Lux soap brand; we launched and began selling our new Encapso encapsulated lubricants in the oil field services market; and our Algenist brand expanded into Nordstrom,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme, in a statement. “While we haven't yet announced our first commercial product out of Moema, much of that plant is operational, including full-scale fermenters. We expect to manufacture commercial product at the Moema facility in the second quarter.”

During a call to discuss the quarterly results, Wolfson elaborated on progress being made at the company’s Moema facility in Brazil. He said that production equipment fermentation through Ecapso downstream is commissioned and operable, along with the 625,000 liter fermenters. “We’ve successfully inoculated fermentation at the 625,000 liter fermenters multiple times,” he said, adding that the facility has been experiencing intermittent power and steam availability due to the startup of a new cogeneration facility at the adjacent Moema sugar mill. The intermittency was unexpected, he said. While the Solazyme does not think it will be a long-term issue, the company has not yet been able to complete production commercial product. Wolfson called it a “big disappointment” not to be able to report commercial product from the Moema facility during the quarterly call.

Regarding the Clinton, Iowa, and Galva, Iowa, operations, Wolfson said the company is pleased with process being made as the company moves into its fourth month of commercial operations at those locations. According to Wolfson, the Clinton/Galva operation has already demonstrated the ability to produce multiple oils at scale, including high-value oils and products. In addition, he said the company is already shipping in commercial quantities to a growing number of customers.

During the call, Wolfson also addressed the company’s Encapso lubricants for use in the oil field services market. According to information released by Solazyme, the product was launched in March and has been used in approximately 20 wells to date.