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Paques Biomaterials raises €14 million for natural alternative to plastic

Paques Biomaterials has concluded a new round of financing today, raising €14 million euros to take the next step in the production of a biopolymer that offers the benefits of plastic without its drawbacks. Among the investors are impact investor Invest-NL and the NOM.

Over a decade ago, the development of this biopolymer from wastewater began in collaboration with Delft University of Technology at the company Paques in Balk. Three years ago, the technology was transferred to Paques Biomaterials. With the capital raised in this financing round, the company plans to scale up by constructing a Caleyda Extraction Facility in Emmen. Here, raw PHA will be extracted into a high-quality biopolymer under the brand name Caleyda, suitable for a wide range of applications. Primarily because the product is 100% biodegradable in any natural environment without leaving harmful microplastics behind.

Over the past three years, the technology behind the product Caleyda has been further developed, with bacteria in organic waste streams producing the biopolymer PHA. Paques Biomaterials has extensively tested its technology at laboratory and pilot scales and, in 2022, collaborated with five Dutch water boards and waste and energy company HVC to establish a demo installation in Dordrecht. Additionally, in 2023, the company entered into various partnerships, including with Kolon Industries in South Korea, circular waste company Looop in Venlo, and with Senbis Polymer Innovations in Emmen to further refine the technology.

“We are incredibly pleased with the confidence that the investors have shown in our technology,” says Joost Paques, co-founder and CEO of Paques Biomaterials. “They provide us with the opportunity to scale up and take the next step in creating a new, circular chain where we produce a natural alternative to plastic from organic waste streams. This financing round also offers room for new investors who want to invest in a future with sustainable resources.”

This brings us one step closer to a natural alternative to plastic

Sytze Hellinga, investment manager at NOM, says, “We have gotten to know the founders, Joost Paques and René Rozendal as driven and knowledgeable individuals determined to make this technology a success. We also see significant opportunities for PHA and thus see a role for ourselves in financing this next step. This brings us one step closer to a natural alternative to plastic.”

Emma den Held, investment manager at Invest-NL, adds, “Our investment in this promising alternative to fossil-based plastics demonstrates our confidence in the power of innovation. Paques Biomaterials’ solution is fully circular and combats the spread of microplastics. With patented technology, a vast potential market reach, and a strong management team, we believe our investment contributes significantly to a circular economy.”

Part of this investment round also includes a loan from Energiefonds Drenthe. “Energiefonds Drenthe has been very flexible and has also thoughtfully considered how this loan could best benefit us,” says Joost Paques. “This provides us with maximum flexibility, now and in the future.”

In the future, Paques Biomaterials will build a full-scale extraction plant where the promising biopolymer PHA will be produced on a large scale (6 million kg per year). The potential for PHA is enormous. According to the European Bioplastics industry association, the global demand for PHA is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. The global bioplastics market is estimated to grow from 2.18 million tons in 2023 to 7.43 million tons in 2028. Specifically for PHA, this means growth from one hundred thousand tons in 2023 to one million tons in 2028. The goal of Paques Biomaterials is to obtain a significant market share in this growth.

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