The first commercial factory of Avantium is to be established in Delfzijl
The listed concern Avantium, a world leader in sustainable chemicals, has announced that the first commercial factory of the company is to be established in Delfzijl. The factory produces raw materials for green plastics, from industrial sugars. According to Chemport Europe, the arrival of the factory is an important building block for future-proof and sustainable industry in this region. The plant will also provide more than 60 quality jobs.
The new factory is based on a technology developed in-house at Avantium. Thanks to this technology, the company can convert vegetable materials into so-called FDCA, an important raw material for the new PEF type of green plastic. PEF can be generated entirely from vegetable materials. Moreover, PEF is easily recyclable and a better quality than the standard PET plastic produced from mineral oil. On establishing the factory, Avantium is taking the step from pilot plant to commercial production. The process requires an investment of 150 million Euros.
“We’re delighted to welcome Avantium to Delfzijl”, says Nienke Homan on behalf of the province of Groningen. “Not only because of the employment opportunities, but especially because innovative companies such as Avantium make an important contribution to increasing sustainability of the industry. We eventually need to become a sustainable and circular industrial cluster that is no longer dependent on fossil raw materials such as natural gas. The Northern Netherlands is taking the lead in greener chemicals.” Reinder Jacobi, programme manager at Chemport Europe adds: “The Chemport Europe cooperative was established precisely to realise that ambition. We roll out the red carpet for future-proof companies. And especially for those companies looking to take the step from innovation to commercial production of chemicals.”
“That commercialisation is a major step, particularly because of the need to scale up to a competitive format. A relatively large capital investment is required for such initial commercial factories, even though they are still relatively small scale”, Dina Boonstra summarises the challenge, as director of the NOM. “We have therefore informed Avantium of our intention to jointly make a considerable contribution to the total financing requirements of the company, in a consortium of regional financiers, together with the province of Groningen and Groningen Seaports.” This will involve a total regional contribution of 30 million euros. Groningen Seaports has announced that it will provide maximum support for the company in connecting to the various utilities within the chemicals cluster in Delfzijl. “In the final report of the Northern Netherlands Industrietafel [industrial consortium], the northern industrial sector has announced that the region wishes to realise process techniques that are considered to be game changing. This Avantium factory is of course such a game changer”, says Cas König, director of Groningen Seaports and chairman of this Northern Netherlands industrial consortium.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to take this important step in commercialisation of our technology together with the region”, says Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. “With the addition of a European subsidy already granted us earlier this year, this will put us well on the way to financing our flagship project. We hope to be able to make an investment decision by the end of 2020.”