28. Nov 2019
The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), an EU body, reconfirmed to award the PEFerence consortium, coordinated by Avantium Renewable Polymers, with a €25 million “PEFerence” Horizon 2020 grant.
This grant supports the establishment of an innovative value chain for the use of plant-based FDCA and PEF and represents an important financing milestone for Avantium on its path towards a flagship plant to make FDCA and PEF commercially available.
Avantium’s YXY plants-to-plastics catalytically converts plant-based sugars into FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) and materials such as the new plant-based packaging material PEF (polyethylene furanoate). PEF is a 100% plant-based, 100% recyclable plastic with superior performance properties compared to today’s widely used petroleum-based packaging materials.
The PEFerence grant was originally awarded in 2017 to the PEFerence consortium under coordination of Synvina, the joint venture of Avantium and BASF. After the dissolution of the Synvina joint venture in January 2019, Avantium took full ownership of the YXY plant-to-plastics technology to produce FDCA and PEF. Avantium revised the scale-up and commercialization strategy for PEF, which includes a planned construction of a 5 kilotons FDCA flagship plant. As a result, Avantium needed to redefine the PEFerence project with BBI JU and its consortium partners. BBI JU has now agreed to the redefined project and has reactivated the PEFerence grant to the consortium, which will have access to the subsidy from 1 December 2019 onwards.
Twelve respected industrial companies and brand owners form the PEFerence consortium: LEGO System AS, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co. KG, Spinverse Innovation Management Oy, Tereos Participations SAS, nova-Institut für politische und ökologische Innovation GmbH, Nestec SA, OMV Machinery Srl, Worley, Kebony AS, Avantium Chemicals B.V. and Avantium Renewable Polymers B.V. The PEFerence partners aim to replace a significant share of fossil-based polyesters with the 100% plant-based PEF. PEF’s excellent barrier properties and its calculated cost price indicate that it can compete with traditional fossil-based products on price and performance when produced at scale. PEF is plant-based and also completely recyclable, thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The total funding need of Avantium for the FDCA flagship plant is around €150 million, as indicated at the Technology & Markets Day of Avantium in June 2019. Avantium intends to have this funding in place before the end of 2020. Marcel Lubben, managing director of Avantium Renewable Polymers, commented that t’he €25 million PEFerence grant for the establishment of an innovative value chain for FDCA is instrumental in securing the overall financing for the flagship plant and the market introduction of FDCA and PEF’. I
“t represents a significant step to cover the funding requirement for the flagship plant for FDCA and we are fully on track towards a planned start-up of the flagship plant in 2023.”
This project has received funding under Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 744409.