The new flagship plant is based on technology developed by Avantium itself. With this technology, the company can convert vegetable raw materials into FDCA, from which the new green plastic type PEF can be made. This type of plastic consists of 100% vegetable raw materials, is highly recyclable and is of better quality than the usual PET plastic made from petroleum. With the establishment of this plant, Avantium is taking the step from pilot plant to commercial production. This involves an investment of € 150 million.
“We are very happy with the arrival of the first commercial factory from Avantium to Delfzijl,” said Nienke Homan, representative of the province of Groningen. “Not only because of employment, but especially because innovative companies such as Avantium contribute to making the industry more sustainable. Ultimately, we must move towards a sustainable and circular industrial cluster that is no longer dependent on fossil fuels such as natural gas. The Northern Netherlands is taking the lead in this greening of chemistry. ”
Reinder Jacobi, program manager of Chemport Europe adds: “To realize that ambition, the Chemport Europe partnership was established. We are rolling out the red carpet for future-proof companies. Especially for those companies that want to make the transition from innovation to commercial in the chemical industry. ”
Dina Boonstra, director of the NOM, summarizes the challenge: “Commercialization is a big step. After all, such a first commercial plant requires a relatively large amount of capital, while the scale is still relatively small. For that reason, we have agreed with a consortium of regional financiers, together with the province of Groningen and Groningen Seaports, to make a substantial contribution to the total financing needs of Avantium of € 30 million.” The consortium of regional financiers consists of Groningen Seaports, province of Groningen, NOM, Fonds Nieuwe Doen, Growth Fund (EBG) and the Investment Fund Groningen.
Groningen Seaports also provides maximum support to the company in connection with the various facilities within the chemical cluster, such as industrial water. “The Eemsdelta region is emphatically looking for companies that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions. This is also laid down in, among other things, the final report of the Industry Table Northern Netherlands. The Avantium initiative is a great example of this,” said Cas König, director of Groningen Seaports and chairman of the Industry Table Northern Netherlands.
“We are very happy to be able to take this important step in the commercialization of our technology with the region,” said Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. “Thanks to a European subsidy obtained earlier this year, we are well on our way to finalizing the financing for our flagship project. We hope to be able to take an investment decision before the end of 2020. “