Novamont opens world’s first commercial-scale bio-BDO plant in North-eastern Italy  


Catia Bastioli, Ceo of Novamont

Mater Biotech, a 100% company owned by Novamont, today proved Genomatica’s revolutionary technology that converts renewable feedstocks into 1,4 butendiol (BDO) at the Grand Opening of its first commercial bio-BDO plant in Bottrighe di Adria (Rovigo, Italy).

The flagship plant was formally opened in the presence of Simona Bonafè, MEP, Christophe Schilling, Ceo of Genomatica, other dignitaries and thousands of guests. This first commercial-scale bio-BDO facility marks a huge step forward in the wider adoption of biochemicals, both in Europe and elsewhere. It is also a victory for Catia Bastioli, Ceo of Novamont, and her concept of biorefineries integrated in the local areas. This facility has already created local jobs and opportunities for farmers, and it will continue to spur local investment and open the door for new technology and job growth across rural Italy.

“Sustainable development – Catia Bastioli stated – is not only industry or agriculture. It is democracy. It is regeneration of local areas.”

Thanks to an investment of 100 million euro, Novamont has managed to revive an abandoned manufactory site of Bioitalia, former Ajinomoto, who was acquired in 2012 by the company headquartered in Novara, safeguarding 27 jobs, which later became 51 at the end of 2015.

Novamont’s plant will produce 30,000 tons of renewable BDO per year, 70% more than the original target of 18,000 tons. The plant’s capacity was expanded due to higher anticipated demand for renewables, continually-improving process performance, and competitive economics. The plant is up and running now and is expected to reach full production rate in 2017.

The plant of Bottrighe di Adria is the first facility in the world capable of producing butanediol (BDO) directly from sugars and not from fossil sources, as is common, through a low-impact process, whose co-products are completely reused. BDO and its derivatives are used for producing plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers for the packaging, automotive, textile, and sports and leisure industries, among others.

BDO produced by the plant enables Novamont to deliver its fourth-generation of Mater-Bi bioplastics with greater sustainability. Mater-Bi is used to make biodegradable, compostable products such as fruit and vegetables bags, mulch film and coffee capsules. The products made with this new BDO will save an estimated 56% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the use of conventional BDO.

Christophe Schilling, Ceo Genomatica

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