Bio-on’s EUR55 mn multi-license agreement for PHA; plants in Asia/Europe


Italian bioplastics firm Bio-on has signed a new multi-license contract worth EUR55 million with a major multinational company and leader in its sector. The goal of Bio-on's new client is, within the next three years, to replace conventional plastic with biodegradable biopolymers made from agro-industrial waste using Bio-on's PHA bioplastic.

The first license comes into effect on signing the agreement, while a second will be activated in the first half of 2017, concluding the preparatory activities for the launch of the industrial project. All licenses and relative revenues, for a total of EUR55 million, will be developed continuously over the next 24-36 months. Alongside the industrial development, the two companies have signed two further agreements to design and develop new applications for the materials by Spring 2017. This activity will be worth EUR1 million.

The plan envisages the construction of a series of PHA bioplastic production plants for an overall output of 100,000 tonnes/year. The individual plants will have a potential of between 10,000 and 30,000 tonnes/year and will be built in Europe and Asia according to a three-year schedule, which will meet the needs of Bio-on's multinational client to produce its own PHA biopolymer. Thanks to this agreement, the company says it will from 2020 be able to replace a large part of the conventional plastic now used in its products with an innovative, 100% natural and biodegradable material.

"This multi-layered agreement is an important milestone for us," explains Marco Astorri, Bio-on Chairman/CEO, "it comes at the end of a long and complex negotiation process which began in the second quarter of 2016 and is line with the forecasts for 2017 and 2018 laid down in the new industrial plan we presented in November 2016. Signing such a large contract with a prestigious, leading multinational confirms the great value of our technology and represents further affirmation on the market of PHAs bioplastic, which is the only real alternative to the environmental problem of conventional plastics."

The PHA bioplastics (polyhydroxyalkanoates) developed by Bio-on are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains. They guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional plastics with the advantage of being 100% eco-sustainable and naturally biodegradable at ambient temperature.

Based on the agreement announced, the PHA bioplastic to be produced with the technology licensed out by Bio-on will be made from co-products of the sugar industry and the production of starch and its derivatives. All the bioplastic produced at the new plants will be used by the multinational exclusively within its own production cycle to create finished products ready for sale. In other cases, Bio-on licenses allow for the bioplastic to be put on the market and sold to custom moulders.

Bio-on, which develops industrial applications through the creation of product characterisations, components and plastic items, has since February 2015, also been operating in the development of natural and sustainable chemicals for the future.

It has developed an exclusive process for the production of PHA s from agricultural waste (including molasses and sugar cane and sugar beet syrups). The bioplastic produced in this way is able to replace the main families of traditional plastics in terms of performance, thermo-mechanical properties and versatility. Bio-on PHA is a bioplastic that can be classified as 100% natural and completely biodegradable: this has been certified by Vincotte and by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).


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