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Flanders co-invests in Avantium to built bioplastics plant in Antwerp

Flanders co-invests in Avantium to built bioplastics plant in Antwerp

The German chemical giant BASF and the Dutch chemical technology company Avantium announced that they have signed a letter of intent and entered into exclusive negotiations to establish a joint venture (JV) for the production and marketing of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) produced from renewable resources (fructose). The JV is named Synvina and a €300 million investment is planned in Antwerp.

The JV will use the YXY process® developed by Avantium in its laboratories in Amsterdam and pilot plant in Geleen, Netherlands, for the production of FDCA. It is intended to further develop this process as well as to construct a reference plant for the production of FDCA with an annual capacity of up to 50,000 metric tons per year. PMV, the Flemish investing company of the Flemish government, and Belgian Federal Holding and Investment company contribute to a € 20 million financing round as the reference plant is intended to be built in Antwerp, Belgium.

FDCA is the essential chemical building block for the production of PEF. Compared to conventional plastics, PEF is characterized by improved barrier properties for gases like carbon dioxide and oxygen. This can lead to longer shelf life of packaged products. Due to its higher mechanical strength, thinner PEF packaging can be produced, thus a lower amount of packaging material is necessary.

Therefore PEF is particularly suitable for the production of certain food and beverage packaging, for example films and plastic bottles. After use, PEF can be recycled.

Avantium is also teaming up with Mitsui to develop FDCA production in Asia. BASF in turn is also interested in commercial bio-based 1,4 butanediol in the Asia-Pacific region after a license agreement with Genomatica for 75 000 ton a year. BDO and its derivatives are used for producing plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers for the packaging, automotive, textile, and sports and leisure industries, among others and technology for bio-based Polytetrahydrofuran (polyTHF) as derivative has already been developed by BASF. PolyTHF is a platform polymer that can be widely used, e.g. spandex and PU resins.