Afyren Inaugurates Afyren Neoxy Factory

Afyren plans to gradually increase volumes to produce 16,000 metric tons of carboxylic acids within two years.
Afyren plans to gradually increase volumes to produce 16,000 metric tons of carboxylic acids within two years.
C/O Afyren

Afyren has inaugurated its first large-scale plant, Afyren Neoxy, in Carling Saint-Avold (Grand Est, Moselle, France) on the Chemesis industrial platform. The project began in December 2020, taking 20 for Afyren Neoxy to open its doors, on September 29, 2022.

Related: Afyren Announces Commercial Contracts in Cosmetics and Nutraceuticals

Afyren plans to gradually increase volumes to produce 16,000 metric tons of carboxylic acids within two years. At this stage, 70% of Afyren Neoxy's target production of organic acids has already been pre-sold.

Located in the center of the European beet-producing basin, Afyren Neoxy has been able to commit to respecting short supply chains through a contract that provides for the delivery of coproducts from sugar-beet crops located within a maximum radius of a few hundred kilometers from the factory.

Based on natural microorganisms and protected worldwide by 10 patent families, the Afynerie technology produces seven 100% biobased organic acids. These acids have several applications in six key sectors: human food, animal feed, flavors and fragrances, lubricants, materials science and life sciences.

The carboxylic acids produced by Afyren offer a low-carbon alternative to their traditionally petro-based equivalents. They are directly derived from sugar beet co-products and are transformed on the Saint-Avold platform through fermentation, extraction and purification steps.

This biomimetic process is said to produce a fertilizer that can be used in organic agriculture, optimizing resources in a completely circular approach. By producing biobased acids that have the same application performance as petro-based acids, and that meet stringent certifications, designed to allow Afyren to offer a sustainable alternative to its partners, allowing them to achieve a significantly improved carbon footprint.

Afyren partnered with Bpifrance through its Société de Projets Industriels (SPI) fund. Afyren Neoxy is a joint venture, 51% owned by Afyren and 49% by the "Société de Projets Industriels" (SPI) fund managed by Bpifrance.

Total Energies provided financial support also well as offered operational assistance, supporting Afyren Neoxy as it navigated issues related to the environment, utilities, services and methods, facilitating the industrial hosting of the plant on the platform. In addition, the construction of the production site benefited from significant support from the Grand Est Region and the Communauté d'Agglomération de St-Avold Synergie (CASAS), both very involved in the development of the bioeconomy sector.

Afyren also relied on financing from the France Reliance recovery plan to set up its Saint-Avold site and to do some of the advance work for the Afyren Neoxy plant. Afyren Neoxy was also able to count on the support of its long-standing partners in the structuring of its bank financing: BNP, Banque Populaire, Crédit Agricole and Bpifrance.

Nicolas Sordet, CEO of Afyren, said, “The inauguration of this first industrial unit on time and on budget, despite the health crisis, is a tribute to all the efforts made to keep to the schedule we had set for ourselves. On behalf of Afyren, I would also like to thank all our partners who have supported our project and enabled us to meet our objectives for growth.”

Jean Saint Donat, president of Afyren Neoxy, said, "This inauguration is the concrete expression of Afyren's ambition: to decarbonize chemical production on a large scale while maintaining a local approach. Our location in the Grand Est region allows us to ideally reconcile our regional presence with international scope."

Magali Joessel, director of the SPI fund at Bpifrance, said, "We are convinced of the potential of Afyren's technology in terms of the decarbonization of industry and its ability to promote a strong, competitive and job-creating bioeconomy. This alliance through Afyren Neoxy is a perfect illustration of our purpose: to enable the most promising industrial projects to find support for their development.”

Sordet added, "On the strength of this first success, we are already studying two scenarios for the establishment of a second plant in North America or Asia. We are obviously evaluating the structuring of the financing, but we are also carefully studying the environmental components so that this second plant will also benefit from access to local biomass and short supply chains. This first inauguration is therefore only the beginning of a major collective undertaking: building a global and circular low-carbon industry by providing biobased solutions built for and with our environment."

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