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Carbios Advances Construction of PET Depolymerization Facility in France
Carbios Advances Construction of PET Depolymerization Facility in France

Carbios Advances Construction of PET Depolymerization Facility in France

  • 15-Feb-2024 6:20 PM
  • Journalist: Stella Fernandes

De Smet Engineers & Contractors (DSEC), a Belgium-based firm, has been selected to lead the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for what is poised to be the world's groundbreaking PET biorecycling plant. This significant development comes in the wake of an announcement by Carbios, a leading French biochemistry company, signalling a transformative initiative to establish the first-ever PET biorecycling facility in Longlaville, France.

The official confirmation of the land acquisition for this pioneering facility from Indorama Ventures by Carbios was formally declared on February 14, 2024. Crucial to the project's progression, the acquisition was accompanied by the attainment of the necessary building and site operating permits in October 2023.

In a strategic move, Carbios and Indorama Ventures joined forces in June 2023, entering into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a joint venture for the construction of the groundbreaking facility. At the heart of this collaborative effort is Carbios' enzymatic depolymerisation process, a state-of-the-art technology designed to facilitate the efficient and solvent-free recycling of PET plastic and textile waste. This process aims to transform such waste materials into end products that match the quality of virgin materials.

De Smet Engineers & Contractors (DSEC) has assumed a pivotal role in this transformative venture. Entrusted with project management responsibilities and detailed engineering tasks, including procurement assistance and the oversight of Carbios partners, DSEC plays a crucial role in ensuring the seamless construction of the plant. The commissioning of this groundbreaking facility is slated for 2025. Emmanuel Ladent, CEO of Carbios, expressed confidence in DSEC's capabilities, citing the company's stellar track record in managing complex industrial projects and its extensive experience in water-based technologies. He underlined the collaboration as a substantial stride towards realizing Carbios' vision of a sustainable future for plastics and textiles.

This major announcement closely follows Eastman's recent agreement for feedstock supply to its own PET depolymerisation plant, also in development in France. Carbios' facility in Longlaville is poised to process approximately 50,000 tonnes of post-consumer PET waste annually. This capacity is equivalent to recycling an impressive 2 billion PET colored bottles or 2.5 billion PET trays. The designated plot for the plant's construction has been strategically chosen to allow for potential future capacity expansion.

The total capital investment for this pioneering plant is currently estimated to be around €230 million, factoring in recent inflationary pressures. Financing for this ambitious and transformative project is set to be facilitated through funds mobilized by Indorama Ventures, subsidies from the French State, and Grand-Est Region allocations earmarked for the project. Additionally, equity capitalization from Carbios for the joint venture is poised to play a crucial role in propelling the success of this groundbreaking PET biorecycling initiative. The commitment to sustainability and innovation showcased by Carbios and its collaborators marks a significant milestone in advancing the circular economy and addressing the global challenges associated with plastic waste.

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