Novamont takes majority stake in Mater Bioplolymer

Bioplastics maker Novamont has acquired 78% of the shares in Mater-Biopolymer, a subsidiary of PET resins producer Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G), with an option to buy the remaining share capital by the end of 2016.

Under the agreement, the Patrica plant in Lazio, Italy, with 83 employees, will work exclusively for Novamont and M&G, with one line producing PET for M&G and another - already completely modified over the past four years using proprietary Novamont technology - for production of Origo-Bi, the range of polyesters obtained from monomers partially or completely from renewable sources. These polymers are used to improve the technical, economic and environmental characteristics of Mater-Bi, Novamont’s range of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics. The acquisition followed all legal procedures and took place with the full agreement of the plant’s labour union representatives.

While the Patrica plant was known as a highly efficient establishment at a European level, it had become too small for the economies of scale of M&G’s PET production but was an ideal size for Novamont. After the necessary technological conversion, including the second production line, it will be perfectly suited to large-scale production of the Origo-Bi range of polyesters.

Novamont has extensive experience in the field of bioplastics, and will give new impetus to the site, creating jobs and competitive barriers and enhancing existing research skills in the areas of materials, process engineering and innovation in general. The Patrica site will have the capacity for annual production of around 100,000 tonnes of a series of polyesters from the Origo-Bi range, further stimulating upstream integration of the Novamont production chain.

“At such a challenging time for our country, the Bioeconomy sector and chemicals from renewable sources in particular are of proven strategic importance for economic recovery and creating value for the whole country. With today’s operation and with the range of operations we have completed in recent months - such as those of Adria-Bottrighe, Piana di Monte Verna and Porto Torres, both alone and with key industrial partners - Novamont is proving it is possible to create an economic and environmental model capable of re-industrialising the region, reusing skills and facilities and recreating jobs, focused on the efficient use of resources and the integration of research, agriculture and industry,” said Catia Bastioli, CEO of Novamont.

“We are pleased that the technological collaboration with Novamont is leading to the creation of flexible sites like Patrica, suited to the production of polymers with high sustainability. This fits with our group’s other activities, in particular through our affiliated companies Biochemtex and Beta Renewables, which offer the chance to reconvert other industrial sites in Italy to sustainable technologies,” said Marco Ghisolfi.

With 323 employees (20% employed full time in R&D), Novamont registered a turnover of €135 million in 2012 and made continuous investments in research and development activities (4.9% of its 2012 turnover). It has a portfolio of around 1,000 patents. It has its headquarters in Novara, a production facility in Terni and research laboratories in Novara, Terni and Piana di Monte Verna (CE). It also has subsidiaries in Porto Torres (SS) and Bottrighe (RO). It has commercial offices in Germany, France and the US and operates through its own distributors in Benelux, Scandinavia, Denmark, the UK, China, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


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