Carbios, Indorama to Build PET Biorecycling Plant

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by KnowESG
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Carbios and Indorama Ventures have announced a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a joint venture to build the world's inaugural PET biorecycling plant in France.

Pending final engineering documentation and economic feasibility studies, Indorama Ventures plans to contribute approximately €110 million in equity and non-convertible loan financing to the joint venture. The project is subject to the successful operation of the initial plant, with potential expansion to other PET sites in the future.

Under the agreement, Carbios will acquire 13 hectares of land from Indorama Ventures' existing PET plant in Longlaville, with permits expected by Q3 2023 and construction set to commence by the end of the year, targeting commissioning in 2025. The land area allows for potential capacity doubling, and Indorama Ventures will ensure the complete repolymerisation of the output while securing the supply of feedstock.

The total estimated capital investment for the plant is around €230 million, factoring in recent inflation impacts. Funding sources include Indorama Ventures, subsidies from the French State and Grand-Est Region, and equity capitalisation by Carbios. Carbios will finance part of its equity injection through its current cash position, with the remaining injection to be financed based on market conditions.

The project aligns with Indorama Ventures' Vision 2030 strategy to enhance its position as a global sustainable chemical company. It aims to increase its recycling capacity to 50 billion PET bottles annually by 2025 and 100 billion bottles by 2030 with investments in advanced recycling technologies and mechanical recycling sites, including two in France.

Carbios has developed an enzymatic depolymerisation technology for efficient and solvent-free recycling of PET waste, aiming for true circularity. After successful operations in its demonstration plant in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Carbios has been collaborating with Indorama Ventures to assess the feasibility of the technology.

The industrial-scale enzymatic PET recycling plant at Longlaville will have the capacity to process approximately 50,000 tonnes of post-consumer PET waste annually, including mechanically non-recyclable waste.

Yash Lohia, Chairman of the ESG Council at Indorama Ventures, expressed confidence in the technical soundness of Carbios' technology, considering it a valuable addition to PET plastics and fibres' circular economy solutions. If the Longlaville Project performs successfully, the technology could potentially be expanded to other sites globally.

Emmanuel Ladent, CEO of Carbios, emphasised the significance of the partnership with Indorama Ventures and the progress made towards establishing the PET biorecycling plant. He highlighted Carbios' commitment to advancing the circular economy for plastic and textiles and the plant in Longlaville as a stepping stone for the company's worldwide industrial and commercial deployment in PET advanced recycling.

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Source: Carbios


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