Province of Groningen awards €1.8 million subsidy for pilot plant in Delfzijl

28 June 2018

AMSTERDAM – Avantium N.V., a leading technology development company and forerunner in renewable chemistry, today announced that it will officially open a pilot biorefinery for its Zambezi technology in Delfzijl, Netherlands next month. Opening ceremonies will take place in Amsterdam on 10 July and in Delfzijl on 13 July.

Avantium develops novel technologies that use renewable carbon sources instead of fossil resources. The Delfzijl plant will pilot Avantium’s latest technology to convert plant-based non-food feedstock to high purity industrial sugars and lignin. The industrial sugars are used in chemistry and fermentation processes to produce a broad range of durable materials, while lignin is used in energy generation.

The province of Groningen is supporting the pilot biorefinery with a RIG (‘Regionale Investeringssteun Groningen’) subsidy of €1.8 million.

Tom van Aken, Chief Executive Officer of Avantium, said: “We are thrilled to open our pilot biorefinery, which will enable the use of non-food biomass, such as forestry residue, to make many products people use every day. This is a milestone in our work to support the transition to a circular economy, and we are already looking beyond the pilot phase. We have a consortium of partners committed to developing a commercial-scale plant.”

Avantium previously announced it had founded a consortium to develop an ecosystem for the biorefinery technology. The consortium consists of AkzoNobel, RWE, Staatsbosbeheer and Chemport Europe, each of which brings specific expertise for the planned commercial-scale biorefinery.

“We have gathered the right partners to tap into local expertise, utilities and infrastructure for the future commercial scale-up of our technology in the Netherlands,” said Van Aken. “Other potential partners around the world have also expressed interest in licensing our technology for local deployment, to make glucose from a wide variety of feedstocks.”

Gert-Jan Gruter, Chief Technology Officer of Avantium, said: “Glucose is a core building block for the transition towards a bio-based economy. We can replace all materials made from petroleum today with materials made from glucose. Our technology makes optimal use of already available agricultural and forestry residues.”

Patrick Brouns, regional minister of the province of Groningen, said: “We are happy to welcome Avantium to Delfzijl. They bring innovation, green chemistry and highly skilled jobs to the region and fit well with the existing local chemistry, energy and agricultural sectors and the knowledge institutions. With Chemport Europe we also support the future commercial-scale biorefinery in Delfzijl.”

About Avantium 

Avantium is a leading technology development company and a forerunner in renewable chemistry. We develop technologies that enable the production of sustainable products from bio-based raw materials. We work in partnership with like-minded companies and academic institutions around the globe to create revolutionary renewable chemistry solutions from invention to commercial scale. We also help clients in catalytic research by providing proprietary systems and services to improve efficiencies and deliver increased sustainability, growth and profits.

Avantium shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Brussels (symbol: AVTX). Our offices and headquarters are in Amsterdam and we employ more than 160 highly skilled colleagues representing over 20 nationalities. Avantium fosters a dynamic workplace that is constantly seeking new ways to improve and expand the impact of advanced catalytic research and technology.

About RIG (Regionale Investeringssteun Groningen)

RIG is a financial instrument to support settlement of industrial companies in the Eemsdelta region (Delfzijl, Eemsmond, Appingedam and Loppersum) and at the Zernike Science Park. RIG2017 is part of the program Groningen@Work 2016-2019 of the province of Groningen and the Economic Board Groningen, aiming to provide employment to as many people as possible in the province of Groningen.

About Chemport Europe

Chemport Europe is an incubator for green chemistry. The Northern Netherlands agricultural and chemical businesses, knowledge institutions, and regional and national governments work closely together and strive to develop Chemport Europe into an important green port with one of the most sustainable chemical clusters in Europe by 2030.

Robin Biersma
T: +31 20 586 01 32

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