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Worley progresses EPC work on Avantium’s flagship FDCA facility

By Mary Page Bailey |

Worley (North Sydney, Australia) has announced it has progressed to the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase of the development of Avantium’s flagship facility in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. Worley also completed the concept development and front-end engineering design of the facility.

The facility will produce plant-based furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a key building block for many chemicals and plastics, such as polyethylene furanoate (PEF). PEF is a fully recyclable and degradable plastic with improved barrier performance and thermal properties. It has the potential to make a significant sustainable impact on the packaging, textiles, and film industries.

This will be the world’s first facility to produce FDCA on a commercial scale, with a capacity of 5,000 tons per year, and will be the commercial proof for future larger-scale developments.

In January 2021, Worley announced a strategic partnership with Avantium, acquiring a shareholding in Avantium in return for a €10 million equity investment with a risk-sharing mechanism over the EPC phase of the FDCA plant.

Following the recent positive final investment decision, we signed a technology cooperation agreement with Avantium and will now deliver EPC services to develop the facility.

Construction is planned to be completed by the end of 2023, enabling the commercial launch of PEF from 2024 onwards.

“Avantium is proud to be the world’s first company that – together with Worley – is constructing a commercial facility for the production of FDCA, the key building block of PEF. And we are very pleased that Worley has become a minority shareholder in our subsidiary Avantium Renewable Polymers. Avantium believes that the confidence in the project demonstrated by Worley and their substantial experience in scaling-up to industrial plants adds strength and credibility to Avantium’s technology and licensing proposition,” said Tom van Aken, Avantium CEO.

“We’ve worked with Avantium over the last years in the scale-up to commercial scale for its flagship facility and this marks an important milestone in the project as we evolve to the next phase. We value our partnerships with our customers as we help deliver first-of-a-kind facilities that will produce the materials and products for a more sustainable world,” said Mark Brantley, Group President EMEA and APAC.

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