BASF to Quit Synvina JV

03.01.2019 -

Following disagreement about the future of their Synvina joint venture, BASF has notified partner Avantium that it will exit as of Jan. 15, 2019.

The companies are still discussing the terms and conditions of an exit. However, the Dutch renewables group said it will acquire BASF’s stake in the jv and Synvina will continue to operate as a wholly owned Avantium company.  In addition, the YXY technology, know-how and employees will revert to Avantium, allowing it to pursue alternative routes for commercializing the process.

Synvina was formed in October 2016 with the intent of building and operating the first commercial-scale plant in Antwerp, Belgium, for bio-based feedstock furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a breakthrough building block for polyethylenefuranoate (PEF) polyester.

The partners disclosed in October that they were in dispute about the timing for fulfilling the criteria to invest in the FDCA plant. After an internal strategic review, BASF served notice to Avantium that if the investment criteria were not met by Dec. 5, it was entitled to exit the jv.

Avantium, however, said it is convinced that the two-three year extension of the PEF pilot-phase announced in January 2018 logically necessitates a postponed final assessment.

“We are surprised by BASF’s position,” said Avantium CEO Tom van Aken. “Synvina is actually ahead of the timeline for resolving the technical challenges that led to the postponement announced in January. The work done to date has strengthened our belief in the YXY technology. We are determined to pursue the commercialization of FDCA and PEF – with or without BASF.”