The seeds were sown in 1839

The seeds were sown in 1839

Chemport Europe has a rich history when it comes to bio-based chemistry. Even though nobody was familiar with the concept back in 1839, W.A. Scholten - a predecessor of Avebe - already extracted everything from a potato - starch, protein, glue and dextrose. If there was anything left at all, it was used to distil alcohol. There was no waste, the cycles were closed.

The ecosystem building blocks

Our sugar and dairy industry already had successful cooperation between agricultural and processing companies, where maximum value was extracted from sugar beet and milk in the form of sugar, a range of dairy products and animal feed. The waste streams served as raw materials for the cardboard industry. 

Thus the grain-processing industries, the potato-processing businesses of Avebe and the sugar factory of Royal Cosun - important building blocks of today’s biochemical ecosystem - were founded. The discovery of salt, the opening of a soda factory and a nylon factory were powerful impulses for the region. The discovery of natural gas in 1959 accelerated the development of industry. 

Companies and universities worked together intensively and raised the industry to a higher plan; fundamental and applied research by the universities of applied sciences and the university encouraged the development of Chemport Europe. They work even more closely together with bio-based companies since they entered into a new alliance known as BERNN. Today, Chemport Europe is the unique ecosystem for the continued development of green chemistry for decades to come.

The agricultural businesses in Chemport Europe excel in productivity. In other words, green raw materials are available in abundance at competitive prices.
The agricultural businesses in Chemport Europe excel in productivity. In other words, green raw materials are available in abundance at competitive prices.
Delfzijl and Emmen are two important chemical clusters of Chemport Europe.
Delfzijl and Emmen are two important chemical clusters of Chemport Europe.
The Nobel Prize for Ben Feringa from the University of Groningen underlines that research in Chemport Europe is at the leading edge.
The Nobel Prize for Ben Feringa from the University of Groningen underlines that research in Chemport Europe is at the leading edge.

1839


W.A. Scholten started up 24 factories in the area of potato flour, potato malt wine, strawboard, sugar and peat litter.

1914


The incorporation of the fourth sugar cooperative, via CSM the predecessor of the biotechnology company Corbion.

1919


Incorporation of the Aardappel Zetmeel Verkoopbureau, the predecessor of Avebe.

1951


Construction of a nylon factory Algemene Kunstzijde Unie (AKU), predecessor of AkzoNobel in Emmen.

1958


Start Salt, Soda and Chlorine production in Delfzijl.

1959


Discovery of the largest natural gas field in West Europe under the Province of Groningen.

1976


Pilot plant for super-strong fibre ‘Twaron’ in Emmen.

2007


Avebe/Solanic is the first to manage to extract high-grade protein from potato juice.

2008


First large-scale biomethanol production by BioMCN.

2015


Designated as European best-practice region for ‘sustainable chemicals’.

2016


The Dutch chemist Prof Dr Ben Feringa (RUG) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.