Oman-based Towell Engineering Group and GF Biochemicals set up a joint venture (JV) for the production and marketing of biochemicals using GF Biochemicals proprietary technology.
The aim of the JV, whose name is NextLevvel Biochem, is to build a leading position in bio-solvents and bio-plasticizers based on levulinic acid. Levulinic acid is considered a key bio-based building block enabling a wide portfolio of derivatives.
The GFBiochemicals technology – the company claims – is the first that enables cost effective production of levulinate derivatives at industrial scale. The technology has been developed for more than 10 years and the company has more than 200 global patents to its credit. Combined with the robust pathbreaking technology from GF Biochemicals and Towell Engineering Group’s proven excellence in the field of engineering, construction & project management in addition to their financial strength, NxtLevvel Biochem aims at becoming a global player in the industry.
Levulinate solvents have excellent solvency power. Target markets are industrial cleaning, home and personal care, but also coatings and agriculture. There are strong drivers in these markets to make a shift to bio-based chemicals, for example poor safety of incumbents, customers requiring green, more stringent regulations and the desire to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Aris de Rijke, who joined GFBiochemicals in 2014 after a career at Shell and DSM, will act as Chief Executive Officer of the compamy. Rudy Parton, who has devoted most of his professional life to the development of biomass to levulinic acid and its derivatives technologies, will be the Chief Scientific Officer.
Towell Engineering Group is the flagship business unit of the W.J.Towell group of companies. Towell Engineering is involved in Engineering & Construction business in the sectors of Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, and Power Generation, Industrial projects, Commercial / Residential projects and Steel Fabrication.