Clermont-Ferrand, 4 November 2019 – (FR0004177046 METEX), a cleantech biochemical company that develops and industrialises competitive and sustainable fermentation processes offering alternatives to petrochemistry for the production and marketing of functional ingredients, issues an update on the construction of the first phase of METEX NØØVISTA. As previously announced, METEX NØØVISTA is a joint venture between METabolic EXplorer, as majority shareholder, and Bpifrance-managed Société de Projets Industriels (SPI), that will produce and market in the first phase of operations 5kt of PDO (1,3 propanediol) and 1kt of BA (butyric acid) in markets such as cosmetics, animal nutrition, and food products.
Construction on schedule
Following the actual start of construction in the first half of 2019 and the groundbreaking ceremony on 18 July, work is proceeding according to plan.
Construction of this first PDO/BA production unit is divided into three lots:
– The first lot consists of the processing area of the plant. The major portion of the earthworks for the processing area has now been completed and several slabs have been poured. The first concrete foundations for the future equipment and the first waterproof walls for the processing area have also been built. A video showing progress in the work can be viewed at Press Releases > Construction of the METEX NØØVISTA production unit, on https://www.metabolic-explorer.fr/construction-metex-noovista/
– The second lot is the effluents treatment plant, for which a turnkey engineering contract was awarded to an international company that designs and installs wastewater treatment facilities. The civil engineering and the earthworks are now in preparation.
– The third lot consists of the “standard” buildings. These include an office building, a finished products storage building, and technical buildings, for which the local authority, the CASAS (Communauté d’Agglomération de St-Avold Synergie), is the project owner. The calls to tender for the construction of these buildings were put out in September and the tenders received for the priority lots are being reviewed at the present time. Construction of buildings in this lot should thus get underway before year-end.
Antoine Darbois, CEO of METEX NØØVISTA, says: “Construction is advancing according to plan. We are maintaining our efforts to keep the plant’s construction on schedule with the aim of getting the PDO/BA unit into operation at the end of 2020.”
Commercial negotiations advance
The commercial strategy is based on setting up alliances to address the targeted markets with a global approach. Since the start of the year, METEX has produced several batches of PDO and BA with its demonstrator and opened talks on partnerships for the marketing of the first non-GMO, “Made in France” PDO for cosmetics products and the first bio-based BA for animal nutrition. METEX is focusing today on negotiating commercial agreements with companies that share its ambition of becoming leaders in non-GMO PDO for cosmetics and bio-based BA for animal nutrition.
€29m of the investment budget allocated
As already announced, the investment agreement between METEX and the SPI fund specifies a total investment of €37m, with the financing provided in three tranches as the work progress. To date, the first tranche, of €12m (€6m provided by METEX and €6m by the SPI fund in December 2018) has all been used, and the second tranche, of €14m (€7m provided by METEX and €7m by the SPI fund), was released in September 2019. The orders placed, for an amount of €29m are in line with the financial plan.
 The SPI investment fund is underwritten by the Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir and the European Investment Bank.
About METabolic EXplorer – www.metabolic-explorer.com
Using renewable raw materials, the company develops and industrialises innovative and competitive industrial fermentation processes as alternative to petrochemical processes to meet consumers’ new societal expectations and the objectives of the energy transition. Its functional ingredients of natural origin are used in the formulation of cosmetic products, nutrition-animal health or as intermediates for the synthesis of biomaterials.
The construction of its first production unit, through its subsidiary METEX NØØVISTA, will bring 1.3 propanediol (PDO) and butyric acid (BA) on the market.
Based at the Clermont Limagne technology park, near Clermont-Ferrand, METabolic EXplorer is listed on Euronext in Paris (Compartment C, METEX) and is included in the CAC Small Index.
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