The first licence went into effect when the agreement was signed while a second will be activated in the first half of 2017, concluding preparations for the projectís launch. Bio-On said all licences and related revenues will be developed continuously over the next two to three years.
In addition, the companies have signed two further agreements worth another EUR 1m to design and develop new applications for the bioplastic by spring 2017.
Under the terms of the agreements, a series of plants to produce PHAs will be built with a combined capacity of 100,000 t/y. The individual units will be built in Europe and Asia according to the three-year schedule, each with a potential output of between 10,000 t/y and 30,000 t/y, enabling the multinational to replace a large part of the traditional plastic used in its products by 2020. Proposed locations of the plants have not been disclosed.
Describing the deal as an important milestone for Bio-On, Marco Astorri, chairman and CEO of the Italian firm, said the multi-layered agreement confirms the value of its technology as well as further affirming that PHAs are the only real alternative to conventional plastics.
Bio-On has developed an exclusive process to produce PHAs from agricultural waste, including molasses, sugar cane and sugar beet syrups. It said its bioplastics guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional polymers but are 100% eco-sustainable and naturally biodegradable at ambient temperatures. Bio-Onís PHA has been certified as 100% natural and completely biodegradable by Belgiumís Vincotte (Vilvoorde; www.vincotte.com) and the US Department of Agriculture (www.usda.gov).