First pile of Avantium bioplastics plant, courtesy of northern investors

A festive moment will soon be upon us for Avantium Renewable Polymers, for the Northern Netherlands and for everyone who cares about sustainability. Construction of the unique bioplastics plant is about to begin. A consortium of northern investors is contributing heavily to it.

FDCA. This is the name of the raw material for the plastics industry that Avantium will produce at the Delfzijl chemical cluster. The granules can be used in many different ways and will replace petroleum-based plastics. Avantium's process involves no fossil feedstock. The FDCA is made from natural sugars.

And that is unique. Nowhere in the world is there a factory that produces these building blocks on a commercial scale. That the Northern Netherlands will soon have one is a result of entrepreneurship, a strong will and good cooperation. Avantium and Chemport Europe - the ecosystem of chemical companies in the Northern Netherlands - strengthen each other.

Opportunity consortium

To support the arrival and establishment of the bioplastics factory, Groningen Seaports, Investment Fund Groningen, Groeifonds and the NOM, as a consortium under the name Bio Plastics Investment Groningen, are contributing 20 million euros. The occasional consortium, will receive a minority stake in the company in return. The total investment in the plant is more than 150 million euros. Emiel ten Have, investment manager NOM: "The consortium recognized the importance of Avantium at an early stage, issued an early funding intention that was substantial for the region, and played an active role in bringing about the decision to build this innovative plant in Delfzijl." Bio Plastics Investment Groningen was created specifically for the investment in Avantium Renewable Polymers. The four consortium parties remain committed to the realization of sustainable initiatives in the Northern Netherlands.

Durable signboard

The importance of the plant cannot be easily overstated, "We in the Northern Netherlands are now a model region for sustainable chemistry. Avantium will truly become an international showcase for Chemport. We are proud to host such a fine organization here,'' Ten Have said.

Avantium and the Northern Netherlands had been in talks for some time about locating the plant. More locations at home and abroad were being explored by the innovative company. The combination of availability of space, embedding in the greening Chemport and cooperation between the northern parties were the deciding factors.

Conversely, Avantium brings more than just employment. The new industrial party fits perfectly into the northern effort to expand activities in sustainable chemistry. Groningen will soon be the place to be for buyers and licensees of the new technology for the production of bioplastics. And perhaps most importantly: with this project, the Northern Netherlands is making a fine contribution to a more sustainable world.