Dutch biotechnology company Avantium has signed a letter of intent to locate its flagship facility for plant-based FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid at Chemie Park Delfzijl in the north of the Netherlands, the company announced 8 Jan.
FDCA is a key building block for many chemicals and bioplastics such as PEF (polyethylene furanoate).
The unit will have a capacity to produce 5 kilotonne per annum (ktpa) and be built near Avantium’s existing plant for the production mono-ethylene glycol (MEG). Start-up is planned for 2023.
The project is part of Avantium’s plans to commercialise its YXY technology to produce 100% renewable and fully recyclable polyethylene furanoate (PEF) polymers.
The plant will manufacture products for high-value markets and performance applications such as high-barrier films and speciality bottles.
Formerly known as Synvina, Avantium Renewable Polymers and a regional consortium have now entered into a letter of intent relating to a conditional financing of €30 million for the engineering and construction of the flagship plant, working capital, start-up costs and operations of Avantium Renewable Polymers.
The funding is in addition to a €25m grant awarded last year by EU body Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) to the Avantium-led PEFerence consortium, aimed to support the establishment of a value chain for the use of plant-based FDCA and PEF.
“Avantium and Groningen share an ambition to support the transition to a circular economy,” said Nienke Homan, regional minister of the province of Groningen.
The plant will create 60 highly skilled jobs as well as “significant indirect employment” opportunities, Homan added.
Avantium revised its YXY technology scale-up policy last summer after taking full ownership of the Synvina bioplastics business from JV partner BASF in early 2019.
Synvina was formed in 2016 to commercialise the YXY technology developed by Avantium to produce FDCA. But BASF terminated its partnership citing disagreements over implementing the terms of the agreement.