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Avantium raises €36M investment, comes closer to commercial scale plant

Avantium announced today that it has closed a financing round of €36 million ($50 million) from a consortium of strategic players consisting of Swire Pacific, Coca-Cola, DANONE, ALPLA, and existing shareholders.

According to Avantium CEO Tom van Aken, the deal represents a huge step toward the first commercial scale plant for the production of the company's biobased plastic, PEF. "This investment makes it possible for us to complete the industrial validation of PEF and finalize the engineering and design of the first commercial scale plant," he said. As part of its strategy to use responsibly sourced plant based materials for PEF production, Avantium will also validate the use of second generation feedstock.

The investment is an affirmation of the consortium's commitment to making PEF a commercial success. PEF is a 100% biobased plastic that exhibits superior barrier, thermal and mechanical properties compared to available packaging materials. Furthermore, PEF offers great potential for in materials as fibers, films and other applications.

"Our proprietary YXY technology to make PEF has been proven at pilot plant scale as we are now moving to commercial deployment," said Van Aken. "It is really special that iconic players in the food and beverage industry invest in a technology partner like Avantium. That gives us a common goal: make 100% biobased plastic bottles for their products. Together we believe that PEF is the packaging material of the future."

To which Frank Roerink, CFO, added: "We are very pleased with this unique group of investors. Not only because they have shown their commitment on the technology but also that we will develop this together. We need each other's knowledge, expertise and experience. And we all share the same vision, that gives a clear direction and creates a lot of energy."

The company has made huge strides over the past few years. Van Aken: "But there is still work to be done. We need to finish the industrial validation of PEF and we are working on the finalization of the engineering and design of the first commercial scale plant. In our pilot plant in Geleen (NL), we already produce the real material at 20ton scale, but obviously our partners need larger quantities for both technical testing and market tests. We have successfully made PEF bottles with YXY technology that meet their needs on performance and sustainability. Now we need to scale up."

"We think, and our partners agree, that we are on the right path and in the unique position with our YXY technology to make this a reality. With this technology we will realize the packaging of the future."

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