Synvina was established in 2016 with the intent of building and operating the first commercial-scale plant (the ‘reference plant’) to produce FDCA, the building block for PEF polyester, suited to food and beverage packaging, automotive applications and carpet and textile fibers.
BASF asserts that fulfilment of the investment criteria for the reference plant must be assessed in the fourth quarter of 2018, as originally envisaged in the joint venture agreement. In january 2018 however, a 2-3 year extension of the PEF pilot phase was announced. According to Avantium, this logically necessitates a postponed final assessment.
Avantium and BASF are discussing possibilities for an amicable settlement to this difference of opinion. Should BASF exit the Synvina joint venture, the IP, people, assets and technology for the production of FDCA and PEF (polyethylenefuranoate) will return to Avantium, allowing it to investigate alternative routes for commercializing the technology.
Avantium CEO Tom van Aken says: ‘We are surprised by BASF’s position. Synvina is actually ahead of the timeline for resolving the technical challenges that led to the postponement announced in January. The work done to date has strengthened our belief in the YXY technology. We are determined to pursue the commercialization of FDCA and PEF – with or without BASF.’