PEFerence initiative awarded EUR 25 million grant by BBI


The European Joint Undertaking on Bio-Based Industries (BBI), the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), established with the aim of realising the European bioeconomy potential, has made a grant of EUR 25 million to the PEFerence project.

nPEFerence is an 11-company consortium that aims to establish an innovative value chain for bio-based raw materials, as well as chemicals and materials based on polyethylenefuranoate (PEF). The project will be coordinated by Synvina.

The grant supports the intended construction of a 50,000 tons FDCA reference plant, the main chemical building block for the production of PEF. PEF is an innovative polyester suitable for applications such as bottles, films and polyurethanes.

By making the grant, BBI has acknowledged the ambition of the PEFerence intiative to arrive at more eco-friendly materials and end products, resulting in substantial benefits for the environment and society. BBI took into consideration that renewably-sourced products made of PEF will significantly help to replace fossil-based packaging materials and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The advantages are legion: PEF bottles can be recycled and used again as raw material for bottles, as well as for packaging and textiles. PEF offers superior product properties in comparison to conventional polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and improved O2 and CO2 barrier properties It also offers a higher mechanical strength, thus thinner PEF packaging can be produced and fewer resources are required.

“The grant of the BBI is a strong signal for Synvina and our partners along the value chain to continue our mutual process to make PEF commercially available”, said Patrick Schiffers, CEO of Synvina. “We share the common goal to get PEF commercially to the market thereby providing the market materials with superior properties and to establish sustainable and bio-based plastic value chains.”

Next to Synvina and its shareholders, BASF and Avantium, the partners in the PEFerence consortium are:
Tereos Participations (France), Alpla Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co Kg (Austria), OMV Machinery Srl (Italy) and Croda Nederland B.V. (The Netherlands), Nestec Sa (Switzerland) and Lego System As (Denmark), Nova-Institut für politische und ökologische Innovation GmbH (Germany) and Spinverse Innovation Management Oy (Finland).