Avantium to Scale-Up Commercialization of PEF
Now with 100% ownership of Synvina, Avantium is creating new avenues for commercializing its YXY technology to challenge PET.
The Netherlands’ Avantium has announced a revised scale-up and market launch strategy for commercializing its YXY branded technology of furanics—a class of chemical building blocks used to produce innovative “green” fuels, chemicals and renewable materials. More specifically, the company is focusing on the production scale-up of polyethylene furanoate (PEF), a 100% biobased alternative to PET.
As reported previously, the company formed the Synvina joint venture with BASF in 2016 to produce PEF. In January 2019, Avantium acquired 100% ownership of Synvina, creating new avenues for commercializing the YXY technology. Avantium has explored different scenarios with potential partners and customers to redefine the commercialization strategy of PEF that meets both market and capital requirements which has led to the revised scale-up and market launch strategy for this novel plant-to-plastics technology as follows:
▪ The Synvina business unit is renamed Avantium Renewable Polymers.
▪ Avantium intends to build a cash-flow positive flagship plant with a planned annual capacity of 5 kilotons (nearly 12 million lbs) of FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) monomer and PEF. The plant will produce products for high-value markets and performance applications such as high-barrier films and specialty bottles.
▪ Avantium will maintain control of flagship and licensing business of YXY, while building a network of committed partners throughout the value chain.
▪ The flagship plant is slated to start up in 2023. Its design has commenced with leading engineering services company Worley (formerly Jacobs Engineering) commissioned to execute the detailed engineering studies. Site selection in northwestern continental Europe is to be completed in the second half of 2019. The investment decision for construction of the flagship plant is planned for the end of 2020.
Said Avantium CEO Tom van Aiken,“We strongly believe in our YXY technology and the unique properties of PEF and are steadfastly moving towards commercialization….Building our flagship plant with an annual capacity of 5 kilotons will allow our market entry in high-value applications such as high-barrier films and specialty bottles. PEF is ideally suited to compete on performance and command the best price in these applications. As we progress our learning curve and increase scale in the future, PEF will be able to compete in high-volume markets, including bottles for carbonated soft drinks and other beverages. Our strategy of building and nurturing value chain partnerships remains of pivotal importance on our path to global commercialization. We partner with feedstock providers, future licensees, convertors and consumer brands. Market interest in PEF remains enthusiastically high as does the commitment of our existing partners to bring this technology to market.
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