Carbios, IVL to build bio-recycled PET manufacturing plant in France

March 01, 2022 - France

Carbios, a pioneer in the development of enzymatic solutions dedicated to the end-of-life of plastic and textile polymers with Indorama Ventures (IVL), one of the world-leading PET manufacturers, have jointly announced a collaboration to build a manufacturing plant operating Carbios’ PET bio-recycling technology at Indorama’s PET production site in France.

“We are very pleased that Carbios and Indorama Ventures have chosen France to build their first 100 per cent bio-recycled PET manufacturing plant. From cutting-edge science, Carbios has developed a disruptive technology and process that enables efficient transformation of plastic waste into novel valuable products. This breakthrough project showcases the government’s ambition within France 2030: getting ready for the challenges of the next decade. Combining biotechnology and a renewed industrial ambition will be the key to achieve a more circular economy,” Bruno Le Maire, French minister of the economy, finance and the recovery, said.

“The announcement by Carbios of a flagship project of enzymatic plastic recycling demonstrates our ability to foster the emergence of innovative industry leaders with cutting edge technologies for the energy transition. It is a success for industrial startups in France as well as a key milestone in the France 2030 strategy, making our industry ready to meet the needs of the Transition,” said Agnès Pannier-Runacher, minister delegate for industry.

After having successfully started-up its demonstration plant in Clermont-Ferrand, Carbios is now moving one step further towards the industrialisation and commercialisation by partnering with Indorama Ventures. The goal is to build and operate in France the world’s first industrial-scale enzymatic PET bio-recycling plant, with a processing capacity estimated at ca. 50.000 tons of post-consumer PET waste per year, equivalent to 2 billion PET bottles or 2.5 billion PET trays.

“With this first medium-sized plant, we want to become the world reference for the circular economy of plastics and textiles. By engaging in such a partnership with Indorama Ventures, we confirm our commitment to pursue our initial industrial development in France. This plant will pave the way towards international commercial and industrial deployment. We are grateful to our shareholders, partners, the French Government, and Grand-Est Region for sharing Carbios’ ambitions and vision towards a profitable Circular Economy,” said Emmanuel Ladent, chief executive officer of Carbios.

After the positive results of Indorama Ventures’ initial analysis on the technical soundness of Carbios’ technology over the past several months, both parties agreed to complete a due diligence process. A feasibility study will be conducted for the industrialisation of Carbios’ technology on Indorama Ventures’ French production site. Subject to the successful completion of these technical and economical evaluations, Indorama Ventures would co-invest in the project.

“We are pleased to implement Carbios’ innovative and transformative technology at our Longlaville site. Bio-recycled PET addresses customers’ growing demand to contribute to a cleaner planet through high-quality plastics while decreasing the use of hydrocarbons,” said DK Agarwal, chief executive officer of Indorama Ventures.

The capital investment required for the project is expected to be around €150 million for Carbios core technology, including in particular an additional purification step, which has been integrated into the process. In addition, an estimated €50 million investment will be allocated for the infrastructure preparation of the site. The project is expected to create approximately 150 direct and indirect full-time jobs. In the coming months, Carbios expects to finalise a strong non-dilutive financial support from the French government and from the Grandest Region, based on the offer received last week by Carbios.