“I confirm that BASF notified Avantium of its exit from their joint venture (JV) Synvina effective 15 January 2019.”
The bio-plastics industry will be disappointed at the news that chemicals giant BASF has confirmed exclusively to Bio-Based World News that it has pulled out of its Synvina joint venture (JV) with Dutch renewable chemicals company Avantium today. BASF’s exit centres around a disagreement over an investment deadline for the project.
The Synvina deal was formed in 2016 to commercialise the YXY technology developed by Avantium. The YXY technology catalytically converts plant-based sugar into FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) and plastics, such as the new polymer PEF (polyethylenefuranoate). FDCA can be applied to many sectors including the food packaging, textile fibres, and automotive industry.
In October 2018, Avantium (@Avantium) announced that itself and BASF (@BASF) had disagreed over the time required to fulfil investment criteria to build a commercial-scale plant for FDCA in Antwerp, Belgium. The company also received notice from BASF stating that it would be entitled to exit from the JV if those criteria were not fulfilled by 5 December 2018.
On 18 December 2018, BASF notified Avantium that it would be exiting the JV effective 15 January 2019.
Today, a BASF spokesman told Bio-Based World News: “I confirm that BASF notified Avantium of its exit from their joint venture (JV) Synvina effective 15 January 2019.”
An Avantium spokeswoman told Bio-Based World News that both firms were still discussing the terms and conditions of the exit.
The spokeswoman reiterated a statement made by Avantium in December and said that “upon an exit of BASF, Avantium will acquire BASF’s equity interest in the JV and Synvina will continue its operations as a fully Avantium-owned company”.
Avantium also said it will take back the YXY technology and this will allow the company to pursue alternative routes for commercialising the technology.
Speaking about the issue in December, Avantium’s CEO, Tom van Aken, said: “We remain fully confident in our YXY technology and the unique properties of PEF, confirmed by high market interest and existing Synvina partnerships. We look forward to building on the work undertaken within Synvina and being free to pursue further options to reach the full potential of PEF.”