MUNICH Oct 7 Chemicals group BASF
will set up a joint venture with Avantium, a specialist in
biobased industrial materials, in the Netherlands to produce
plant-based chemicals used to make plastics, it said on Friday.
The two companies will jointly invest hundreds of millions
of euros in the project, BASF said.
The products will use fructose from plants as feedstock
rather than conventional oil derivatives to make a new chemical
building block, furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA).
They will be used in bottles for carbonated and
non-carbonated soft drinks, dairy products, as well as personal
and home care products. Customers will include Coca-Cola,
Danone and Mitsui, a spokesman for
Dutch-based Avantium said.
BASF has previously worked with Cargill and
Novozymes on superabsorbers for diapers made from
plant-based materials but quit the alliance last year.
Analysts say that many consumers prefer renewable-labeled
goods but are prepared to pay only slightly more than the price
of petroleum-based equivalents, and the cost of production has
been a major hurdle to renewable plastics becoming mainstream.
The new JV, called Synvina, will be headquartered in
Amsterdam, but production, of up to 50,000 metric tons of
chemicals annually, will take place at BASF's site in Antwerp,
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Susan Fenton)