16 Oktober 2006

Novamont opens Europe’s first bio-refinery

The E35m project realises its ambition to create an integrated bioplastics plant.

Italian bioplastics producer Novamont officially opened its E35m bio-refinery project today at its main bioplastics production site at Terni, in Italy.

The project, a joint venture between Novamont and Coldiretti, involves 600 local partners that will cultivate the crops needed to supply its new central bio-refinery. By the middle of next year it will be operating at an effective yielding an annual capacity of 40.000 tonnes, says Novamont, and will produce 60.000tpa in 2008.

“The bio-refinery Novamont is one of the first real examples of a new model that creates an integrated system among industry, agriculture, environment and local economy,” says Novamont managing director Catia Bastioli. “This is a model that can be reproduced in other territories.”

The bio-refinery will use vegetable oils and corn starch to produce a range of bio-based chemical derivatives, including materials required to manufacture Novamont’s Origi-Bi biodegradable polyesters and Mater-Bi thermoplastic starches.

Novamont, Europe’s largest bioplastics producer, estimates that in Italy alone more than 800.000 hectares of agricultural land is un-cultivated under EU set-aside rules. It says converting this land to corn and oleaginous plant production could yield around 2 million tonnes of bio-plastics.

Bastioli sees this first bio-refinery as a challenge to investors and industrialists to adopt bio-based production and adopt her logic of life cycle thinking. “Now we can follow paths that are different from the current ones,” she said.

Catia Bastioli will be speaking about the changing bioplastics industry at EPN’s 8th Bioplastics conference in Frankfurt in December. For more information www.bpevent.com.

(Cf. news of Jun. 22, 2006.)

Source: prw.com Oct. 13, 2006.

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