As part of this agreement, Mitsui has been granted a right to purchase a sizable volume of FDCA from the first commercial FDCA plant to be constructed by Avantium.
Currently Avantium is in the preparation stage of the construction of the first FDCA production plant and plans to share further details on the capacity, location and time lines for the construction in Q1 2016. Demonstrating the blockbuster potential for PEF and FDCA in the Asian market, Avantium has reserved a significant portion of the capacity from this first FDCA plant for Mitsui.
Avantium and Mitsui have entered into a development and roll out agreement for PEF thin films in Asia and PEF bottles in Japan. Given its outstanding barrier performance, Avantium research demonstrates PEF can bring significant benefits as packaging material for oxygen sensitive goods such as food, beer and health care products. The parties are also partnering to launch and grow the market for other FDCA-based applications such as co-polyesters.
Tom van Aken, CEO Avantium, commented: “This partnership with Mitsui is a unique opportunity for Avantium to unlock the growth opportunities in the Asian market, one of the fastest growing markets for packaging materials. This collaboration expands our PEF developments beyond bottles, as supported by The Coca-Cola Company, Danone and ALPLA, into the new application of thin PEF films. Particularly Japan is a very attractive market for a high performance material like PEF. The Japanese packaging industry is highly innovative, resulting in a large variety of packaging formats to meet the high quality standards demanded by local consumers. It is our ambition to support Mitsui and their Japanese partners and customers to launch PEF and other FDCA-based applications to the market well in time for the Tokyo Olympics”.
For Mitsui, the collaboration with Avantium is an extension of its strong bio-based chemicals portfolio. Mr. Hidebumi Kasuga, General Manager of Specialty Chemicals Division II, Basic Chemicals Business Unit, commented: “Mitsui believes FDCA and PEF are bio-based building blocks with a high market potential. We are happy to strengthen our position in this field by collaborating with Avantium, who is the leader in FDCA and PEF production technology. This partnership fits well with Mitsui’s strategy in pursuit of future bio-refinery structures, combining our strength in feedstock, project management, chemicals, and end markets.”
About FDCA and PEF
Avantium has developed the proprietary YXY technology, which enables a catalytic conversion of biobased carbohydrates (sugars) to FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid). FDCA has numerous potential applications as a biobased building block for new chemicals and plastics, such as PEF (polyethylene furandicarboxylate). PEF can be produced from FDCA using conventional industrial production plants. PEF is a 100% biobased polyester with strong performance benefits over PET, such as a higher barrier to oxygen and CO2, higher mechanical strength, and a reduction in carbon footprint of more than 50%. These properties of PEF enable improvements to existing bottles and packaging films, for example shelf life extension and lightweighting.
Mitsui is one of the most diversified and comprehensive trading, investment, and service enterprises in the world, with 140 offices in 66 countries as of November, 2015. Utilizing our global operating locations, network and information resources, we are multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects in the following fields: Iron & steel products, mineral & metal resources, infrastructure projects, integrated transportation systems, chemicals, energy, food resources, food products & services, consumer services, IT & communication, and corporate development business. Mitsui is actively taking on challenges for global business innovation around the world.
Avantium is a scale-up renewable chemicals company that develops and commercializes a next generation biobased chemicals and bioplastic. Its most advanced products are the building block FDCA and the polymer PEF. Avantium aims to monetize this tremendous value opportunity through selling manufacturing licenses of its patented YXY production process and application fields. The technology basis of Avantium is a unique capability and expertise in catalysis and chemical R&D. The value of its catalysis technology platform is proven by Avantium’s Catalysis business, a profitable business of providing advanced R&D catalysis services & systems to the world’s largest oil and chemical companies. Avantium offices and headquarters are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Avantium is operating an YXY pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands.