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Global Bioenergies secures LoI for Isonaturane offtakes

Global Bioenergies secures LoI for Isonaturane offtakes
An outline of Global Bioenergies planned 2,500 tonnes per annum bio-based "Isonaturane" plant (image courtesy Global Bioenergies).

France-headed advanced biofuels and biochemical process developer Global Bioenergies has announced that it has received Letters of Intent (LoI) representing more than 2,500 tonnes of "Isonaturane" per year from renowned international cosmetics players. The company also revealed a revised timeline and a capacity adjustment for its planned bio-based isobutene derivates production plant.

According to a statement, these purchase intentions represent annual revenue worth over EUR 70 million.

This planned plant will mainly be dedicated to the cosmetics sector and has been resized to 2,500 tonnes of isobutene derivatives per year to focus on the most profitable markets: make-up and prestige skincare products.

Anticipated to be commissioned during 2027, Global Bioenergies will market “Isonaturane” 12 and 16, the first natural-origin equivalents to petroleum-based isododecane and isohexadecane.

Initially, we aimed at increasing the plant’s capacity to 10,000 tonnes, which required targeting markets such as make-up removers or deodorants. These mass markets demand large volumes at low costs, which would have inevitably driven down our selling prices. By limiting the size of the plant, we are reducing the amount of CAPEX required to build it, and we are targeting markets willing to pay full price for naturalness. The plant’s economic profile maintains its margin prospects while reducing the investment required, with purchasing intentions now exceeding the plant’s capacity and projected annual sales of over EUR 70 million, explained Marc Delcourt, Co-Founder and CEO of Global Bioenergies.

Initiate SAF production

In addition to cosmetics, the plant will assist in initiating the Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) market, since the same technology can produce SAF for a blending of up to 50 percent with fossil kerosene.

An ASTM-approved pathway, Global Bioenergies plans to deploy its proprietary process “on a large scale” starting from the market opening in 2030 when the SAF blend in the EU will be 6 percent.

Plant layout finalized

Concurrently with commercial development and under the supervision of Roland Desvignes, Industrial Director of Global Bioenergies, the engineering teams have finalized the first plant layouts.

The plant will be divided into five zones: isobutene production by fermentation, purification of isobutene, conversion into isododecane and isohexadecane, effluent management, and energy management.

Based on these layouts, the total construction cost of the plant has been estimated at nearly EUR 80 million.

The French Government had already announced its support for the project at the end of 2023 with the allocation of EUR 16.4 million in public aid via the “First Plant” call for projects conducted by Bpifrance as part of the France 2030 plan

Start FEED phase in 2024

The timetable for the design and construction of the plant has also been specified. The basic engineering phase will be completed at the end of May 2024 and will be followed by a “front-end engineering design” (FEED) phase in the second half of 2024.

This phase will define all the facilities to be integrated into the selected site. A phase of detailed studies and appraisal of permit applications will begin in early 2025.

This will be followed by the construction phase of the plant itself, which will involve the main CAPEX outflows, and will be completed in 2027.

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