Avantium N.V., a leading technology development company has started construction of a new demonstration plant to produce bio-MEG from renewable sugars in the Netherlands.
Developing an environmentally friendly plant-based alternative has great potential with the use of MEG in making everyday consumer goods, such as PET and PEF plastics and polyester textiles. Presently, more than 99% of MEG is produced from fossil resources. Demand for MEG is expected to increase from 28 million to 50 million tons in the next 20 years.
Tom van Akan, Chief Executive Officer of Avantium, said, “Our novel single-step process can finally fulfil this demand in an environmentally sustainable manner that both consumers and leading brands have been seeking. This enables renewable products growth for consumers that increasingly demand products brought to them in a responsible manner.”
The investment for the construction of the new plant is funded from a previously disclosed investment of €15-20 million for the most advanced technologies of Avantium. The new plant is being built on Avantium’s pioneering Mekong technology to convert renewable sugars into bio-based MEG and is scheduled to be operating in 2019. The European Innovation Council has also selected the Mekong technology as part of its €146 million investment in top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists to scale up internationally with bright ideas.
Zanna McFerson, Chief Business Development Officer of Avantium, commented, “This is a major step forward in the development of our Mekong technology. In addition to the environmental benefits, this demonstration plant will replicate commercial-scale conditions of producing cost-effective bio-MEG; a drop-in product identical to the fossil-derived product. We are exploring partnership opportunities in bringing this technology to full-scale commercialization globally.”