Avantium N.V., a leading technology company in renewable chemistry, announces that it has taken a positive Final Investment Decision (FID) on the construction of its FDCA Flagship Plant in Delfzijl. The positive FID was taken after the Company fulfilled all three Key Conditions it had defined, which include securing sufficient financing, finalising the engineering and establishing the supply chain, and obtaining sufficient offtake commitments for the Flagship Plant. With the recent signing of a €90 million committed debt financing term sheet, the final outstanding financing condition has now been met.
Reaching this milestone marks a defining moment in the evolution of Avantium and will accelerate the commercialisation of PEF (polyethylene furanoate). Avantium’s FDCA Flagship Plant will be the world’s first factory to produce FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) on a commercial scale, with a capacity of 5 kiloton per annum. FDCA is the key building block of the 100% plant-based, recyclable plastic material PEF which also has functional advantages compared with fossil fuel derived plastics. Avantium believes that the Flagship Plant, in addition to generating revenues and profits in its own right, will clearly demonstrate the viability of large-scale manufacturing of PEF to consumers, customers and partners. This should pave the way to dramatically expand the applications of PEF, with a potential total end-market of $200 billion per year, which Avantium intends to access by the provision of technology licenses to collaborators worldwide.
The positive Final Investment Decision (FID) concludes an intense phase during which Avantium worked diligently on satisfying the three Key Conditions it had defined as necessary to meet, prior to starting with the construction of its FDCA Flagship Plant: securing sufficient financing; finalising the engineering and establishing the supply chain; and obtaining sufficient initial offtake commitments for the Flagship Plant. All three Key Conditions have now been met. To get to this point, Avantium has been actively seeking and building partnerships across the value chain – customers, suppliers, governments and financial partners.
Tom van Aken, Chief Executive Officer of Avantium, comments on the significance of this milestone: “We highly appreciate the trust our partners, and in particular a strong consortium of Dutch banks, place in our innovative technology to produce FDCA and PEF. By meeting the Key Conditions concerning the construction of our FDCA Flagship Plant, we have reached a pivotal point in our journey to commercialise the next-generation plant-based plastic PEF. Bringing a new plastic to the market is a remarkable feat. With the backing of all our stakeholders, our perseverance, efforts and drive are about to bear fruit. We are excited to be playing an important role in accelerating the transition to the circular economy while building value for our shareholders.”
The total financing package for the construction of the FDCA flagship plant consists of subsidies, third party equity, Avantium equity and bank loans. Financing is subject to customary terms and conditions, including Financial Close. Worley and the Groningen Consortium (consisting of Groningen Seaports and regional investment funds NOM, FondsNieuweDoen, Investeringsfonds Groningen and Groeifonds) together will acquire a 22.6% shareholding in Avantium Renewable Polymers.
Cas König, CEO of Groningen Seaports, is pleased to collaborate with Avantium to making the FDCA Flagship Plant a reality: “We are excited that Avantium has reached this important milestone for its FDCA Flagship Plant. Avantium’s commercial facility will significantly contribute to the development of sustainable and circular industrial cluster in the Northern region of the Netherlands, that is no longer dependent on fossil resources such as natural gas. This fits perfectly within our Chemport Europe ecosystem where we work together towards a shared ambition: changing the nature of chemistry.” Dina Boonstra, director of regional investment funds NOM (Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands), Investeringsfonds Groningen and Groeifonds, adds: “The Investment Funds of the Groningen Consortium are excited to support Avantium, enabling Avantium to scale up and commercialise its innovative, breakthrough technology to produce the plant-based plastic material PEF. The production of biobased plastics fits well in the focus and strategy of the Northern Netherlands and we are therefore pleased to welcome Avantium in our region.”
Avantium Renewable Polymers entered into a sub-leasehold agreement with Groningen Seaports for land for the construction and operation of its 5 kta FDCA Flagship Plant. On 1 December 2021, the Groningen Environmental Service (ODG – Omgevingsdienst Groningen) published the draft environmental permit for Avantium’s FDCA Flagship Plant. The front-end-engineering and design (FEED) phase was completed in 2021. For the construction phase, Avantium and Worley signed a reimbursable engineering, procurement and construction contract for the FDCA Flagship Plant, conditional to Financial Close, with a contracted delivery date of Q4 2023. Avantium expects the Flagship Plant to be operational in 2024.