Avantium’s bioplastic, latest Green Hope for the Agribusiness?
After many awards and famous collaborations, the Dutch biotech company Avantium signed a deal with Tereos for the production of its 100% biobased plastic. The Bioplastic provider is moving forward to disrupt an established market!
Initially created as a spin off of Shell, Avantium is a 15 years old Dutch company specialized in the area of advanced catalytic research. The main success of the company lies in the creation of a new process capable of converting plant waste into PolyEthylene-Furanoate (PEF). PEF is a novel 100% biobased polyester with an enhanced barrier and thermal mechanical properties in comparison to existing packaging materials, and could be one the best alternatives to PolyEthylene-Terephthalate (PET), one of the most used plastics in the world.
Thanks to this technology, the company already received the Innovations in Bioplastic Award (2013) and the European Cleantech Company of the Year Award (2014). Besides these nominations, Avantium raised €36 million from prestigious Agribusiness companies such as Danone and The Coca-Cola Company.
According to the French newspaper LesEchos, Avantium’s success story is moving forward with an exclusive agreement with Tereos, the 5th largest sugar producer worldwide. This partnership should lead to the creation of a PEF production unit in Lillebonne (France).
According to LesEchos, Avantium was looking for a long-term partner and Tereos declared : « We can provide Avantium with adapted raw materials. In addition, we have the R&D capabilities to develop other non-food raw materials. Avantium also sees in our international implementation the opportunity to grow the project elsewhere »
The potential market of bioplastic today is estimated at €91 billion and Tereos now has a great opportunity to enter the market of plastic bottles, plastic films and fibers (carpets). Furthermore, through this investment, Tereos can continue its biotech diversification (in 2013, Tereos partnered with Michelin for the production of bio-based butadiene) and recoup its expensive investment in biofuel production units.