An exclusive interview with Mathieu Flamini, CEO GFBiochemicals: ”The road to sustainability and the fight against climate change is a road from which there is no turning back”

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Mathieu Flamini, CEO GFBiochemicals. He played as a midfielder for Olympique de Marseille, Arsenal FC, AC Milan, Crystal Palace FC and Getafe Club de Fútbol. Picture: courtesy of Flamini

I met Mathieu Flamini in Milano during the Design Week. Milano is vibrant again after the dark years of the pandemic. AC Milan won the championship, eleven years after the last success of which Mathieu was one of the architects. We do not talk about football, also because I cheer for the other team based in Milano. I am totally black and blue and I can’t share his joy for the AC Milan’s Scudetto. We talk about the bioeconomy, starting from his new role as CEO of GFBiochemicals, which he is enthusiastic about. Mathieu is a friend, so I immediately declare that this is a somewhat unusual interview. With Mathieu we talk about the need to accelerate on the path of the paradigm shift that leads us from fossils to the use of renewable biological sources, the importance of communicating the damages produced by industrial activity on the environment in order to promote sustainable solutions, the role of the sport’s world in a campaign that highlights the contradictions of a development model based on profit at all costs and the waste of resources.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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The US bioeconomy takes a step forward: in Iowa the first bio-1,4 butanediol facility to be built in America

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The US bioeconomy takes a step forward. Genomatica, Cargill, HELM and Qore completed a groundbreaking ceremony in Eddyville, Iowa, to celebrate the construction of the first, bio-1,4-butanediol (BDO) facility to be built in the U.S. and the second bio BDO commercial scale plant for Geno. It’s a major milestone for biotech to supply more sustainable materials to meet surging consumer demand, while advancing manufacturing right in America’s heartland.

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Circa and Valmet partner to industrialize biochemicals productions

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Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, at IFIB 2018 in Turin

Circa and Valmet have signed a Heads of Agreement to realise and optimise the Furacell™ production process at scale through the ReSolute project and future large-scale plants. Valmet will be the main process technology and equipment supplier, and actively contribute to accelerating the development of Circa’s large-scale production plants. The cooperation considerably strengthens Circa’s ability to build and deliver its plan to become a large-scale producer of sustainable biochemicals.

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Repsol and Monarch Alternative Capital invested in Canadian Enerkem

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Enerkem in Westbury, Quebec

Canadian company Enerkem, a world leader in the production of low-carbon intensity biofuels and circular chemicals from waste materials, closed a new financing totaling $255 million. Repsol invests $170 million, of which $75 million is in Enerkem’s equity and $95 million in convertible debt. In doing so, Repsol joins existing shareholder Suncor Energy as a strategic shareholder to accelerate the adoption and deployment of Enerkem’s technology and to develop new projects in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). In addition, Monarch Alternative Capital, a new investor, is contributing $30 million to the round while Avenue Capital Group is reinvesting $30 million, both in convertible debt. Finally, there is $25 million reinvested in equity by some existing shareholders.

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The Italian bioeconomy takes a step forward: Versalis and Novamont strengthen their partnership

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Matrìca plant in Porto Torres, Italy

Versalis and Novamont are strengthening their partnership to reinforce synergies in the ecological transition of green chemistry, leveraging what has been built so far to maximize spin-offs and seize new opportunities. The commitment to Matrìca – the joint venture set up in 2011 between Versalis and Novamont at Porto Torres specializing in manufacturing bioproducts from renewable sources – has been reconfirmed.

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Circa Group takes a step forward in France

 

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Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, at IFIB 2018 in Turin


Circa Group AS takes a step forward. The ReSolute™ project in France – the Australian company claims – has continued to progress well, with significant work undertaken to ensure plant costs are kept within updated estimates. In early Q1 2022 Circa announced €8.2 million in funding from the French government for the development of the ReSolute™ plant in Eastern France as part of the ‘France Relance’ programme.

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Anellotech and SHR renewed site host and services agreement for process development pilot plant

David Sudolsky - Il Bioeconomista
David Sudolsky

Anellotech and South Hampton Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Trecora Resources, renewed their agreement for SHR to serve as site host and provide operations services for Anellotech’s TCat-8TM process development pilot plant, which is located inside of SHR’s Silsbee, Texas production plant. SHR owns and operates a 128-acre specialty petrochemicals facility at the Silsbee site, specializing in high purity hydrocarbons. The company originally began its site hosting relationship with Anellotech in 2016 with Anellotech’s development of its Bio-TCat process for producing petrochemicals from wood.
The original services agreement between Anellotech and SHR allowed Anellotech to install and then operate the TCat-8 unit inside the SHR plant.

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LanzaTech and Twelve partnered to produce world’s first polypropylene from CO2

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Jennifer Holmgren at IFIB 2018 in Turin, Italy

Carbon transformation company Twelve and biotechnology company LanzaTech partnered to transform CO2 emissions into polypropylene, a key polymer used for medical devices including syringes and IV bags, as well as for large-scale applications in automotive, furniture, textiles and other everyday products.

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Lululemon Athletica and Genomatica joined forces to create a lower-impact, plant-based nylon

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Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica during his speech at the Grand Opening of Mater Biotech’s plant in Bottrighe di Adria, Italy

lululemon Athletica inc. signed a multi-year collaboration with sustainable materials leader Genomatica to bring renewably-sourced, bio-based materials into lululemon’s products. This represents lululemon’s first-ever equity investment in a sustainable materials company and Genomatica’s largest partnership within the retail industry. Together, the two companies will create a lower-impact, plant-based nylon to replace conventional nylon, which is the largest volume of synthetic material currently used to make lululemon products.

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Clariant and India Glycols Limited created a JV for renewable ethylene oxide derivatives

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Source: Clariant

Clariant, a focused, sustainable and innovative specialty chemical company, and India Glycols Limited (IGL), a leading company in the manufacturing of green technology-based chemicals, successfully created their 51-49% joint venture for renewable ethylene oxide (EO) derivatives after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals. The joint venture will operate under the name Clariant IGL Specialty Chemicals Private Limited.

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