The 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 polymer PEF (polyethylene furanoate).
With Financial Close, engineering company Worley and the Groningen Consortiumi have become minority shareholders in the Avantium subsidiary Avantium Renewable Polymers, responsible for the FDCA Flagship Plant. Furthermore, the €90 million debt financing package has been signed with the consortium of Dutch banks, comprising ABN AMRO Bank, ASN Bank, ING Bank and Rabobank, as well as with impact investment fund InvestNL. Avantium will now immediately start the construction of the FDCA Flagship Plant, planned to be completed by the end of 2023. This will enable the commercial launch of PEF from 2024 onwards.
On 9 December 2021, Avantium announced that it had taken a positive Final Investment Decision (FID) to construct the FDCA Flagship Plant, after obtaining, amongst other, sufficient financing. At an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders on 25 January 2022, Avantium received support from its shareholders for the positive FID. In line with its planning, Avantium has now executed the investment documentation with the minority shareholders Worley and Groningen Consortium, and the debt facilities agreement with the consortium of Dutch banks and Invest-NL. Worley and the Groningen Consortium together have acquired a 22.6% shareholding in Avantium Renewable Polymers, while Avantium continues to hold 77.4% of the equity. With the closing of this transaction, which includes Avantium completing its contribution to Avantium Renewable Polymers, the signing of the debt facilities agreement and the subsidies continuing to be available to it, Avantium Renewable Polymers business plan is fully funded.
The Groningen Consortium will continue under the name ‘Bio Plastics Investment Groningen’ (BPIG) consortium that was specifically created for the investment in Avantium Renewable Polymers. Emiel ten Have, investment manager NOM (Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands), comments on behalf of the Bio Plastics Investment Groningen consortium: "We are extremely proud to welcome Avantium Renewable Polymers to the Delfzijl chemical cluster. With an investment of €20 million, brought together by Groningen Seaports, the Investment Fund Groningen, the Growth Fund and the NOM, united in 'Bio Plastics Investment Groningen', we are making an important contribution to the development of sustainable bioplastics. The realisation of the plant is a wonderful milestone for Avantium, and a major showcase for Chemport, the place for green chemistry in the Netherlands!”
Mark Brantley, Group President EMEA and APAC of Worley, says: “Working with Avantium to bring this unique FDCA technology and new sustainable plastic PEF to the market aligns with our purpose of delivering a more sustainable world. We’ve been working with Avantium for almost four years and this has given us unique insights into the technology. We look forward to the construction and operation of the FDCA flagship plant, and the scaling-up towards industrial plants through Avantium’s licensing business.”
Avantium CEO Tom van Aken comments: “Reaching Financial Close is the culmination of a decade’s worth of hard work to bring Avantium’s lead product - PEF - to market. It is a huge step forward in bringing a new, revolutionary material to the market, and a milestone in the sustainability transition of the packaging, fibre and specialty markets. With the support of important partners such as Worley, the BPIG consortium and the consortium of Dutch banks and Invest-NL, Avantium is now ready to build and operate the world’s first FDCA commercial plant, meeting the growing global demand for sustainable and circular materials.”