Dutch renewable chemicals company Avantium has retaken full ownership of its YXY plants-to-plastics technology via the acquisition of BASF’s shares in the Synvina joint venture (JV).
Avantium has selected Marcel Lubben as managing director for Synvina to focus on the commercialization of the YXY technology.
As per terms of the joint venture agreement, Avantium has paid €13.7m to BASF for its equity stake in Synvina and retaken the intellectual property, people and assets for YXY technology.
A net payment of €3.7m was paid for full ownership of the assets acquired by Synvina in the last two years.
YXY technology has been developed to catalytically convert plant-based sugars into furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and materials such as the new plant-based packaging material polyethylenefuranoate (PEF).
Major brands and consumers are adopting PEF, which is environmentally friendly and recyclable. It is also expected to play a crucial in the circular economy.
Avantium intends to make further announcements on its new strategy to commercialize YXY during the first half of this year.
The firm’s renewable chemistry programs comprise of Dawn technology that converts non-food feedstock to industrial sugars and lignin, and Mekong technology that converts sugars into plant-based monoethylene glycol (MEG) used to produce materials such as renewable plastics and polyesters.
Avantium CEO Tom van Aken said: “Our belief in YXY and its market potential is rock-solid. Producing FDCA and PEF is a complex innovation process that requires a completely new value chain.
“I am convinced that the work done so far and the value chain we have built will spur the commercialization of PEF. We have the people, ambition and expertise to bring FDCA and PEF successfully to market, and are very pleased Marcel Lubben will strengthen the team to spearhead this.”
In October 2016, BASF and Avantium have formed a joint venture (JV), Synvina, for the production and marketing of FDCA, as well as the marketing of PEF based on the new chemical building block FDCA.
During the same time, BASF also announced the construction of a reference plant with an annual capacity of up to 50,000 metric tons per year at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium.