Afyren to build bio-based acid plant in Thailand with Mitr Phol
French start-up Afyren announced that is has signed a letter of agreement with Thailand’s Mitr Phol, the world’s third largest sugar producer, to form a 70-30 joint venture biorefinery in Thailand.
The plant will produce about 28,000 tons per year of bio-based and low-carbon products, representing an annualized turnover of approximately EUR60 million (USD65.3 million). Mitr Phol will provide the plant access to local biomass by-products, while the plant will allow the Thai company to optimise its industrial circular platform, “From Waste to Value” model with high value-added bio-based outlets for its sugarcane co-products.
Production start-up is expected by 2025, with the timetable to be specified at the end of the engineering studies scheduled for the second semester of 2023.
With this project in Thailand, Afyren is targeting the Asian market, which represents 25% of the world market for carboxylic acids. Its first plant that will produce bio-based acids is now in the production start-up phase in Eastern France, with a production capacity of 16,000 tons per year. A significant part of the plant’s production volume is targeted to replace fossil-based acids being used in the lubricants industry.
“This project is a major step forward in Afyren’s development. With this second plant project, we are organising our presence in a strategic region in the heart of Asia to better serve our customers,” said Nicolas Sordet, CEO of Afyren. By partnering with Mitr Phol, Afyren is securing long-term access to a sustainable raw material from the local sugarcane industry. We look forward to working with Mitr Phol and benefiting from its long experience in the region.”
The Thai plant under consideration will be located in the immediate vicinity of Mitr Phol’s operations, close to the Thai capital Bangkok.
“This innovative partnership with Afyren is in line with our strategic vision towards sustainable development as it will allow us to strengthen the circular and sustainable model of our industrial activity with the development of bio-based products that are friendly to the environment,” said Verajet Vongkusolkit, chief executive officer – Thailand Sugar, Renewable Energy and New Business of Mitr Phol Group.
The signing took place in the presence of Olivier Becht, French Minister Delegate to the Minister of Europe, and Warawan Chitaroon, director general of The Office of Industrial Economics, Ministry of Industry, Thailand, highlighting the support of both the French and Thai governments for this strategic project.
The accord is expected to be finalized mid-2023, subject to agreement by the parties on the final terms of the partnership.