Avantium wins €6 million grant, releases half-year results

By Erin Voegele | August 27, 2019

Netherlands-based renewable chemistry company Avantium announced Aug. 26 it has been awarded a €6 million ($6.65 million) grant to accelerate development of its technologies. The company also recently released half year financial results.

The €6 million in funding is being awarded as part of a SPIRE grant to accelerate the company’s Dawn and Mekong technologies, in addition to utilizing its expertise in catalysis. SPIRE, part of Horizon2020, is the European subsidy program to facilitate the region’s sustainable process industry. As part of the grant, Avantium will participate in a four-year research program entitled IMPRESS starting in September. The €6 million awarded to Avantium is part of a larger €13 million award given to the IMPRESS consortium, which consists of 10 industry and academic organizations across Europe.

A statement released by Avantium explains its Dawn technology converts non-food plant-based feedstock into industrial sugars and lignin. The Mekong technology then converts these industrial sugars into plant-based mono-ethylene glycol (MEG). According to the company, the two processes enable the production of naturally derived polyesters.

“The integration of Dawn Technology with the production of plant-based MEG by the Mekong echnology will be further improved by using the advanced high throughput R&D systems of Avantium Catalysis,” the company said in a statement. “The objective is to create a value chain starting from non-edible biomass to renewable chemicals and materials that meets both economic and sustainability criteria.”

“The introduction of new plant-based chemical products and materials to the market requires the combination of sourcing plant-based feedstock, deploying disruptive technologies, and successfully engaging with the end-product market,” said Tom Van Aken, CEO of Avantium. “Leading the IMPRESS program is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with like-minded organizations towards a fossil-free future. It truly leverages the synergies of Avantium’s portfolio of technologies and areas of expertise.”

Approximately one week earlier, on Aug. 20, Avantium released half year 2019 financial results, reporting progress in the effort to commercialize its technologies.

Van Aken reported that Avantium acquired 100 percent ownership of its Synvina joint venture during the first half of the year. According to the company, Synvina has become Avantium Renewable Polymers. The company intends to build a flagship plant that is scheduled to begin operations in 2023. That facility is currently expected to have the capacity to produce 5 kilotons of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and polyethylene furanoate (PEF) annually. Design of this plant is underway and site selection is expected to be complete later this year.

Van Aken also reported that Avantium will officially open its demonstration plant for its Mekong technology in November. The facility, located in the Netherlands, has the capacity to produce 10 tons of plant-based MEG per year.

Avantium reported that consolidated first half revenues fell to €5.2 million, down from $6.4 million for the same period of 2018. The company reported a net loss of €12.6 million for the six-month period, compared to a net loss of €6.5 million for the same period of last year. Total adjusted EBITDA fell to negative €8.8 million, down €1.3 million when compared to the same period of last year.