Following the successful start up of its demonstration plant in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Carbios, a company focussed on the development of enzymatic solutions for end-of-life of plastic and textile PET polymers has today announced plans to build another, larger plant, this time in Longlaville.
If all goes as hoped, the new reference plant will be built in collaboration with Bangkok-headquartered PET manufacturer Indorama Ventures, who is currently the world’s largest producer of recycled PET for beverage bottles. The project would combine Carbios’ science and technology with Indorama Ventures’ world-class manufacturing capabilities.
Having completed an initial technical soundness analysis of the project, Indorama Ventures selected its PET production site at Longlaville, Meurthe-et-Moselle for carrying out a feasibility study for the industrialisation of Carbios’ technology. A due diligence process will also be conducted. In the event of a favourable outcome of these technical and economical evaluations, Indorama Ventures will co-invest in the project.
Carbios’ enzyme-based biological process, known as C-ZYME, converts PET back into its core monomers. These can then be used to manufacture 100% recycled, recyclable PET, helping to meet the growing needs of consumers and large consumer goods companies including Carbios’ partners and shareholders (L’Oréal, Michelin, L’Occitane, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe) for more sustainable packaging.
The new industrial-scale enzymatic PET bio-recycling plant - the world’s first - will have a processing capacity estimated at ca. 50.000 tons of post-consumer PET waste per year, equivalent to 2 billion PET bottles or 2.5 billion PET trays.
The capital investment required for the project is expected to be around €150 million for Carbios’ core technology, including an additional purification step, which has been integrated into the process. In addition, an estimated €50 million investment will be allocated for the infrastructure preparation of the site. The project is expected to create approximatively 150 direct and indirect full-time jobs.
Over the coming months, Carbios expects to finalise a strong non-dilutive financial support from French Government and from the Grand-Est Region5, based on the offer received last week by Carbios, from the Minister of Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher and the President of Grand-Est Region, Jean Rottner.
“This plant will pave the way towards international commercial and industrial deployment,” said Emmanuel Ladent, Chief Executive Officer of Carbios.
“We are grateful to our shareholders, partners, the French Government, and Grand-Est Region for sharing Carbios’ ambitions and vision towards a profitable Circular Economy.”
This financial support will be conditional on the notification to the European Commission and on contractualization by French authorities. Carbios announced in its half-year results on the 30th September 2021 a cash position of €112 million. Since then, Carbios has also secured a €30 million loan from EIB.
Carbios was established in 2011 by Truffle Capital to provide an industrial solution to the recycling of PET plastics and textiles. The enzymatic recycling technology developed by Carbios deconstructs any type of PET plastic waste into its basic components which can then be reused to produce new PET plastics of a quality equivalent to virgin ones. It has also developed an enzymatic biodegradation technology for PLA that has the potential to create a new generation of plastics that are 100% home compostable. This innovation has been licensed to Carbiolice, a joint venture created in 2016, which is now a subsidiary of Carbios.