Joint Venture & Partnerships

Will BASF leave the Synvina Joint Venture?

BASF and Avantium are fighting over the Synvina project. Will this lead to a divorce? Will this become the biggest flop in bioplastics history?

Synvina is a joint venture between Avantium and BASF intended to produce  furandicarboxylic acid  (FDCA) that will be used to produce PEF. The Synvina plant was meant to be built in Antwerpen but the project was delayed by 2 or 3 years. Plant-based PEF should eventually replace petrol-based PET.

BASF sent a notice to Avantium: if the investment criteria to invest in the plant are not completed by 5 December 2018, BASF will leave the Synvina joint venture. BASF insists that the stipulation is in the original joint venture agreement.

Avantium, does not agree with this interpretation of the agreement and believes the two-to-three year extension of the PEF pilot phase announced in January logically necessities a postponed final assessment.

The intellectual property rights, people, assets and technology for the production of FDCA and PEF would return to Avantium if BASF leaves the joint venture.

Avantium’s chief executive Tom van Aken said

“We are surprised by BASF’s position. 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 commercialisation of FDCA and PEF – with or without BASF.”


  • What a hit for Avantium (NL).
  • Is this a fiasco in the making and will this shake Avantium off their ivory tower?
  • What motivates BASF’s decision? Swiss Scientists have improved Avantium’s PEF production process a few month ago … have BASF (De) decided to sleep with the Swiss and leave Avantium?
  • Will Avantium crack under the pressure or will the Dutch hold tight?
  • Will Avantium replace BASF with a Japanese company?
  • Is this a dirty trick from BASF or is this amateurism from Avantium … or a bit of both?
  • Will it have to go to court?
  • Avantium is listed on Euronext Amsterdam .. Will this have an impact on their stock value?
  • Many questions and uncertainties, but one thing is clear…you’ll know the answers by reading



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