Synvina was formed in 2016 to commercialize the YXY technology developed by Avantium. The YXY technology catalytically converts plant-based sugar into FDCA and plastics, such as the new polymer polyethylenefuranoate (PEF). The intent of the parties was to build the first commercial-scale plant for FDCA, the main building block for PEF, in Antwerp, Belgium.
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.
Tom van Aken, Chief Executive Officer of Avantium says he is looking forward to being free to build on the work undertaken within Synvina and to pursue further options to reach the full potential of PEF: ‘We remain fully confident in our YXY technology and the unique properties of PEF, confirmed by high market interest and existing Synvina partnerships.’
Upon an exit of BASF, Avantium will acquire BASF’s equity interest in the joint venture and Synvina will continue its operations as a fully Avantium-owned company. In addition, the YXY technology, know-how and people will revert to Avantium. This will allow Avantium to pursue alternative routes for commercializing the technology.