Clermont-Ferrand, 16 September 2021: METabolic EXplorer (METEX), which contributes to the ecological transition by innovating to produce by fermentation functional ingredients of natural origin intended for the animal nutrition, cosmetics and biopolymers markets, takes stock of the activity of its METEX NØØVISTA subsidiary of Carling St-Avold (Moselle).
A pioneer facility, the METEX NØØVISTA plant in Carling St-Avold produces PDO and butyric acid of natural origin. PDO has proven performance as a solvent, humectant and preservation booster, especially for cosmetic applications. Butyric acid and the salts derived from it are desirable additives in animal nutrition.
The METEX NØØVISTA teams achieved a significant industrial performance with the construction of this plant in less than 2 years despite a pandemic context (first stone in July 2019, first production at the end of March 2021). They obtained the first sales of PDO to the cosmetics and industrial markets from June 2021, then produced the first batches of butyric acid from July for animal nutrition.
However, as with any industrial activity, the installation of a new factory inevitably generates unforeseen problems that must be resolved to stabilize production, in order to ramp-up the capacity.
On August 23, the teams in place detected a malfunction of a distillation unit. Our analyzes lead to the conclusion that the water from the distribution network used by the plant, although suitable for the fermentation process and consumption, turned out to be too hard for the cooling system. Lime deposits thus gradually led to scaling of the heat exchangers.
Resolving this issue requires a suspension of production. METEX NØØVISTA will take advantage of this temporary shutdown to implement a stabilization plan, in collaboration with experts from METEX NØØVISTAGO. The restart will take place the week of October 4 to reach a stable production level at the end of October and resume product expedition from mid-November 2021.
“This event does not call into question the efficiency of our industrial process, which was demonstrated by the level of quality achieved before the summer. Two actions have been launched to permanently correct this gap: all the exchangers and devices concerned will be descaled or replaced and a water softening device will be installed. Our teams are already at work to implement these solutions as quickly as possible, “explains Jean-Louis Séris, plant manager.
“We understand this production lag will have consequences for our partners and customers. We are working closely with them to keep them informed of the progress of our work. Many of them will be present at the official opening of the plant on September 23,” said Manuela Falempin, METEX NØØVISTA sales manager.
At this stage, the Group is still anticipating for the 2021 financial year, which ends on December 31, a consolidated turnover of over € 170 million. In fact, the favorable trend in the prices of amino acids, and in particular lysine, allows the Group to maintain the level of revenues envisaged for 2021. The Group’s EBITDA should be slightly affected. Initially expected to be close to breakeven, it should decline slightly to around – € 4m, corresponding to the lag in sales and maintenance costs associated with the Carling plant stabilization plan.
Publication of consolidated accounts and financial report for the first half of 2021
30 September 2021 after the close of market trading
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 METEX NØØVISTA production unit, located in Carling (Moselle), allows the METEX Group to bring 1.3 propanediol (PDO) and butyric acid (BA) on the market.
The acquisition of AANE, which has become METEX NØØVISTAGO, the leading European producer of amino acids for animal nutrition, enables the METEX Group to realize its ambition to become one of the world market leaders in functional ingredients produced by fermentation.
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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