Chemical technology company Avantium made good progress in the first six months of 2020 in developing and diversifying its business, said CEO Tom van Aken. The company currently has 3 pilot plants up and running and continues to work towards making an investment decision on the FDCA flagship plant by the end of the year.
“We have focused our efforts on the execution of our strategy of commercialising our plants-to-plastics technologies,” said Van Aken.
In the first half of 2020, Avantium’s total revenues and other income increased from €7.1 million in HY 2019 to €8.8 million. Consolidated first half year other income increased from €1.9 million to €4.5 million, due to higher grant recognition resulting from three newly awarded grant programmes (PEFerence, IMPRESS and ERDF). Grant recognition improved in all business units with Renewable Chemistries at €1.6 million, Renewable Polymers at €0.8 million and Catalysis at €0.1 million. First half year revenues decreased from €5.2 million to €4.3 million, of which € 0.6 million of the decrease relates to Avantium Catalysis.
Total EBITDA went up from €-9.3 million in the first half of 2019 to €-6.9 million in the first half of 2020. The net result for the first half year of 2020 is €-11.0 million (HY 2019: €-12.6 million).
The Catalysis business has seen a clear impact of the global travel restrictions, which have made installation and maintenance of the company’s Flowrence systems at customers’ sites difficult, if not impossible. In the first half year of 2020, Avantium Catalysis achieved revenues of €4.0 million, mostly from systems and longer-term service contracts, down from €4.6 million in the first half year of 2019.
The Renewable Chemistries and Renewable Polymers business units delivered on their respective strategic objectives and were not unduly impacted by COVID-19.
In the latter two business units, Avantium is focussed on commercialising its two lead products, furandicarboxylic acid, or FDCA and plant-based MEG (mono-ethylene glycol), the two building blocks required to produce PEF (polyethylene furanoate).
The company is currently striving first to bring FDCA to scale and to that end is working to put the funding for the construction and start-up of a flagship plant in place before the end of 2020. That plant will have a planned annual capacity of 5 kilotonnes of FDCA, with start-up tentatively scheduled for 2023.
The first half of 2020 also saw the successful commissioning and start-up of the company’s plant-based MEG demonstration plant. Avantium has already produced its first plant-based MEG, demonstrating the catalytic sugar conversion step at a more than 100 times larger scale than previously.
Next to this, the company also has a number of other projects underway, including the further optimisation of its Dawn Technology at its pilot biorefinery in Delfzijl (NL), where non-food biomass is converted into industrial sugars for renewable chemical and material production.