“The choice of Carling-St Avold is strategic because it offers us not only a scalable site, but also a qualified workforce and a virtually endless supply of resources of raw materials nearby, while ensuring we are close to our clients.”
French biotechnology firm Afyren and investment bank Bpifrance have given the green light for the creation of their joint subsidiary called Afyren Neoxy, which is supported by funds worth around €50 million. The launch of the new firm will help to push forward plans for Afyren to create a bio-based organic acid plant.
The first industrial unit based on the bio-molecule technology developed by Afyren (@AfyrenBiotech) will be focused producing organic acids using by-products from the sugar industry. The organic acids can be used in cosmetics, flavours, fragrances, human and animal nutrition, and fine chemicals.
In a statement, Afyren said that its new plant will be based on a three-hectare site in Carling-St Avold, Moselle, in the north east of France. Based on by-products from the sugar industry, this unit will produce a range of seven organic acids with an initial annual capacity of 16,000 tonnes.
The bio-based plant project will contribute to the region’s reindustrialisation and the development of green chemicals within France’s ‘Chemesis’ platform – a chemical industry platform which brings together various chemical industry players and suppliers to effectively pool their needs.
It is expected to generate new direct jobs by 2021.
This agreement follows the €21 million euros of funds raised in January 2019, and is part of the €60 million global financing programme, which will enable Afyren to take its industrial project forward through to its market release. It is part of a Sociétés de Projets Industriels (SPI) projects fund. The SPI fund will invest €23m for a 49% stake in Afyren Neoxy, with Afyren holding the remaining 51% of its capital.
Magali Joëssel, Director of the SPI Fund at Bpifrance (@Bpifrance), said: “We are proud to partner with Afyren in the creation of this industrial joint-venture and to support it for the commercial development and marketing of its products.
“This project to reindustrialise a site with a ground-breaking green chemicals innovation clearly illustrates Bpifrance’s commitment to supporting employment through the structuring of an innovative field in the Energy and Environmental Transition Sector.”
Nicolas Sordet, Afyren CEO, said: “Through this joint initiative with Bpifrance, we will be able to benefit from the financial resources needed to industrialise our technology and the confidence and trust of a major institution, which will be a key factor supporting our development.
“The choice of Carling-St Avold is strategic because it offers us not only a scalable site, but also a qualified workforce and a virtually endless supply of resources of raw materials nearby, while ensuring we are close to our clients. This will enable us to increase our production capacity very quickly to accompany the strong demand already expressed by our industrial partners.”
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