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Feds loan Botaneco $3.6M for expansion

Botaneco Specialty Ingredients, a personal care product manufacturer using oil from its own safflower lines, aims to put more Canadian acres into safflower as it expands capacity at its Calgary plant.

To that end the company, a subsidiary of Calgary-based SemBioSys Genetics, has been granted a repayable contribution of $3.63 million through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agri-Opportunities program.

It’s expected the program will fund up to a third of the eligible expenditures made by Botaneco over a two-year project which began in the first quarter of 2009, the company said in a release Wednesday.

As part of this expansion, Botaneco “will investigate new sources of safflower seed in Canada and develop new products that offer benefits to formulators and manufacturers” in the personal care sector, SemBioSys CEO James Szarko said.

SemBioSys’ businesses involve making high-value proteins and oils from plant seeds. Its genetically modified safflowers have been used to produce plant-based insulin and a next-generation cardiovascular therapy, both of which are now in the development pipeline.

“This non-dilutive funding from the Agri-Opportunities program will support the continued expansion of Botaneco’s manufacturing capabilities in Calgary,” Szarko said Wednesday.

“Increasing capacity and optimizing production efficiencies will allow Botaneco to meet the growing demand for its innovative all-natural ingredients for personal care products.”

The federal funding bears no interest and Botaneco said it expects repayment to begin in 2013, through equal installments over a five-year period.

The funds will also support the expansion of Botaneco product sales into new international markets, the company said.

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