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MUNICH, Oct 7 (Reuters) - 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, Belgium. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Susan Fenton)