The two companies have been collaborating for over a year on an enzymatic depolymerization method that they say results in “virgin-like” products. | Courtesy of Carbios

Indorama Ventures and biotech company Carbios are planning a joint effort to build a PET biorecycling facility in France. 

According to the non-binding memorandum of understanding signed by the two companies, Indorama Ventures will provide about $117.8 million in equity and non-convertible loan financing, pending final engineering documentation and final economic feasibility studies. Those steps are slated to be complete by the end of 2023.

Yash Lohia, chairman of the environmental, social and governmental (ESG) council at Indorama Ventures, said in the press release that the company is “encouraged by the positive results of the due diligence our teams have performed so far on the technical soundness of Carbios’ technology.”

“We are confident that this groundbreaking development could be a valuable addition to the range of solutions for the circular economy of PET plastics and fibers,” Lohia added. 

If this first plant is successful, Indorama Ventures is interested in potentially bringing the technology to other PET processing sites, a press release stated. 

Carbios developed an enzymatic depolymerization method that can turn PET plastic and textiles into “virgin-like” products without using a solvent. The company demonstrates this method at a plant in Clermont-Ferrand, France and has been collaborating with Indorama Ventures for over a year to develop the commercial and technical feasibility of the technology. 

Emmanuel Ladent, CEO of Carbios, called the planned plant “a springboard for our industrial and commercial deployment worldwide.” 

Plant plans 

Carbios filed for plant permitting in December 2022 and will build the facility on about 32 acres of land at Indorama Ventures’ existing PET plant in Longlaville, France. The press release noted the company expects to receive permits by the third quarter of 2023, to begin construction by the end of 2023 and to be commissioned in 2025.

The plant will have the capacity to process about 50,000 tons of post-consumer PET annually, including material that is not recyclable mechanically, the press release stated. 

The total capital investment is estimated to be around $246 million, adjusted for inflation. That will be financed by Indorama Ventures, Carbios and government subsidies.

More stories about PET

Van Dyk Recycling Solutions