First-of-its-kind bio-recycled PET plant for France

Published on February 24, 2022

Carbios and Indorama Ventures are partnering to build an enzymatic  PET bio-recycling production plant in Longlaville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, with a processing capacity of around 50,000 tons of post-consumer PET waste per year – the equivalent to 2 billion PET bottles or 2.5 billion PET trays.

The capital investment required for the project is expected to be around €150 million for Carbios core technology, with an estimated €50 million for the infrastructure preparation of the site.

In the coming months, Carbios expects to finalise strong non-dilutive financial support from French Government and from the Grand-Est Region, based on an offer already received from the French Minister of Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher and the President of Grand-Est Region, Jean Rottner.

This financial support will be conditional on the notification to the European Commission and on contractualisation by French authorities and follows January’s announcement by Eastman of a $1 billion material-to-material molecular polyester recycling facility in France.

This latest project is expected to create approximatively 150 direct and indirect full-time jobs.

“We are very pleased that Carbios and Indorama Ventures have chosen France to build their first 100% bio-recycled PET manufacturing plant,” said Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery. “From cutting-edge science, Carbios has developed a disruptive technology and process that enables the 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 key to achieve a more circular economy.”

Carbios is a pioneer in the development of enzymatic solutions dedicated to the end-of-life of plastic and textile polymers and has already successfully started-up a demonstration plant in Clermont-Ferrand,.

“With this first medium-sized plant, we want to become the world reference for the circular economy of plastics and textiles,” said its CEO Emmanuel Ladent. “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 our ambitions and vision towards a profitable circular economy.”

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 at the Indorama Ventures French production site. Subject to the successful completion of these technical and economical evaluations, Indorama Ventures will co-invest in the project.

About Carbios 

Carbios, a green industrial biotech, develops biological and innovative processes representing a major innovation in the end of life of plastics and textiles. Through its unique approach of combining enzymes and plastics, Carbios aims to address new consumer expectations and the challenges of a broader ecological transition by taking up a major challenge of our time: plastic and textile pollution. 

Established in 2011 by Truffle Capital, the mission of Carbios is to provide an industrial solution to the recycling of PET plastics and textiles (the dominant polymer in bottles, trays, textiles made of polyester). The enzymatic recycling technology developed by Carbios deconstructs any type of PET plastic waste into its basic components which can then be reused to produce new PET plastics of a quality equivalent to virgin ones. This PET innovation, the first of its kind in the world, was recently recognized in a scientific paper published in the prestigious journal Nature. Additionally, Carbios is working hand in hand with multinational brands — like L’Oréal, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe — to implement its technology, and to lead the transition toward a truly circular economy. 

The Company has also developed an enzymatic biodegradation technology for PLA (a bio-sourced polymer) based single use plastics. This technology can create a new generation of plastics that are 100% compostable in domestic conditions, integrating enzymes at the heart of the plastic product. This disruptive innovation has been licensed to Carbiolice, a joint venture created in 2016, which is now Carbios’ subsidiary. 

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About Indorama Ventures 

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand (Bloomberg ticker IVL.TB), is one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers, with a global manufacturing footprint across Europe, Africa, Americas, and Asia Pacific. The company’s portfolio comprises Combined PET, Integrated Oxides and Derivatives, and Fibers. Indorama Ventures products serve major FMCG and automotive sectors, i.e. beverages, hygiene, personal care, tire and safety segments. Indorama Ventures has approx. 24,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of US$10.6 billion in 2020. The Company is listed in the Dow Jones Emerging Markets and World Sustainability Indices (DJSI). 

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Source: Press release

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