This world’s first commercial FDCA factory is set to produce 5 kilotonnes of FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) per annum, the key building block for the 100% plant-based, recyclable plastic material PEF (polyethylene furanoate).
The First Piling Ceremony represents the start of the construction of the FDCA Flagship Plant. Construction is planned to be completed by the end of 2023, enabling the commercial launch of PEF from 2024 onwards. Over the years, PEF has attracted the interest and support of many partners – varying from commercial partners, governments, engineering and supply chain partners as well as financial and grant partners. With the support of these partners within the PEF value chain, Avantium is now ready to build and operate the world’s first FDCA Flagship Plant, meeting the growing global demand across a range of end-product markets.
One of the first enablers of the FDCA Flagship Plant is the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), which supported the FDCA Flagship Plant with a “PEFerence” Horizon 2020 grant (1). CBE JU Head of Programme Virginia Puzzolo comments: “The Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking goal is making the European industries green and competitive. Today, we are marking a clear example of this European green renaissance: the €25 million of CBE JU funding for the PEFerence project contributes to transforming the traditionally gas area around Delfzijl into a more sustainable and competitive region. We, at CBE JU, are delighted to contribute to bringing into the market disruptive circular technologies like producing plant-based FDCA in this Flagship Plant.”
The new FDCA Flagship Plant is located near Avantium’s demonstration plant for plantMEG™ (monoethylene glycol) and its pilot biorefinery, producing glucose and lignin from non-food biomass. The Northern Netherlands is furthermore a prime location for green chemistry in the Netherlands, with the ambition to achieve a fully sustainable chemical industry by 2050. Avantium fits perfectly into this ambition, with the FDCA Flagship Plant supporting the transition to a circular economy and helping to shift the chemicals industry away from fossil resources and towards sustainable feedstocks. The FDCA Flagship Plant will bring increased innovation to the region. In addition, Avantium will create around 50 highly skilled jobs, for which the recruitment has already started, and provide significant indirect employment opportunities.
Avantium CEO Tom van Aken comments: “Avantium is proud to be the first company in the world that is constructing a commercial facility for the production of FDCA, the key building block of PEF. I strongly believe that PEF has the potential to become a major polymer to be used across many applications and markets worldwide, helping us on the path to a circular economy. We are pleased with the support of our partners for our FDCA Flagship Plant. Today everyone can see how our plans for a commercial FDCA facility are becoming a reality.”
(1) The FDCA Flagship Plant is supported with a “PEFerence” Horizon 2020 grant awarded by Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 744409