“When we consider that nearly all of the materials and products in society today are essentially 100% based on petrochemicals and that the chemical sector is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, half of that from the fossil-based feedstock used to produce the chemicals, we see that the world is not only dependent on petroleum but also on petrochemicals. To transition to a lower carbon economy, we need renewable chemicals just as much as renewable energy.” Nick Smith, Head of Development Commercialisation at Circa Group, talks to IlBioeconomista. In this exclusive interview, he talks about the ReSolute plant in Eastern France, the new partnerships and the next steps of the Australian company and the role of the bioeconomy to make industries more sustainable.
“France has been involved and promoted the bioeconomy for a long time, even before the word bioeconomy was used. The effort for supporting valorization of biomass for producing energy chemicals and materials started in the 90’s with a dedicated agency so-called AGRICE”. To say this – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Florent Allais, President of the Centre Européen de Biotechnologie et de Bioéconomie based in Pomacle. With Prof. Allais we talk about the French and the European bioeconomy, the role of research and technology transfer and the importance of collaborations at European level.
In 2021, the bioeconomy in EU4 (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) has reached a value of production of €1,500 billion, employing over 7 million people. Germany is confirmed as a leader with a value of €436.6 billion, then France (379.4 billion), Italy (364.3 billion) and Spain (251.5 billion). This is according a new Report realized by the Intesa Sanpaolo Research Department (Intesa Sanpaolo is one of the major banking group in Europe), in collaboration with Italian Circular Bioeconomy Cluster SPRING and Assobiotec, and today presented in Salerno (South Italy), which is dedicated to bioeconomy, which, in line with the definition of the European Commission, was defined as the set of activities using renewable natural resources to produce goods and energy, generating great advantages in terms of sustainability.
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.
Aviation fuel supplier ExxonMobil has reached an agreement with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) producer Neste to commercially distribute Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel at France’s largest airports. The move comes after the French Government introduced the 1% SAF mandate, which has come into force from 1 January.
“Simplification of the European regulatory framework could also go a long way toward accelerating and promoting the circular bioeconomy surge.“ Nicolas Sordet, founder and CEO of AFYREN, talks to Il Bioeconomista. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in France, AFYREN collected more than €70 million funding in 2019, which allows the company to grow from a pilot stage to industrial-scale production.
“Building on a strong and competitive agricultural and forest sector as well as on its technological expertise, the strategy should fully engage France on the bioeconomy road and position the country as a global leader in this field”. Boris Dumange, Director General of IAR Pole (French Cluster Industries and Agro Resources), talks to Il Bioeconomista about the bioeconomy in France, where the government announced its own strategy by the end of this year, the role played by IAR Pole, the goals of the intercluster 3BI and the measures the European Union needs to be more competitive. “We believe – Dumange says – actions such as a European preferred public procurement programme or temporary tax incentives for bio-based products could help to bridge the gap between innovation and market uptake and allow sufficient economies of scale to make bio-based products a competing alternative to fossil-based equivalents.”
The French energy ministry issued a decree on Dec. 31 that raised the maximum level of biofuels in diesel sold at services stations in France to 8 percent by volume, higher than the EU-agreed limit of 7 percent.