BASF has decided to exit the Synvina joint venture (JV) following disagreements with its partner Avantium.

The JV was formed in 2016 to commercialise Avantium’s YXY technology, which converts plant-based sugar into 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and plastics.

The resulting FDCA can be used to develop high-performance polymer polyethylenefuranoate (PEF) polyester for applications such as food and beverage packaging.

In October, Avantium announced that the two companies had disagreed over the time required to fulfil investment criteria.

The company also received notice from BASF stating that it would be entitled to exit from the JV if those criteria were not fulfilled by 5 December this year.

“We remain fully confident in our YXY technology and the unique properties of PEF.”

BASF has already notified Avantium of its exit, which will become effective on 15 January 2019. Both companies are currently negotiating the terms and conditions of the exit.

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Both companies also planned to build a commercial-scale plant for FDCA in Antwerp, Belgium.

Avantium CEO Tom van Aken said: “We remain fully confident in our YXY technology and the unique properties of PEF, confirmed by high market interest and existing Synvina partnerships.

“We look forward to building on the work undertaken within Synvina and being free to pursue further options to reach the full potential of PEF.”

Following BASF’s exit, Avantium will acquire its equity interest in the JV and Synvina will operate as a fully Avantium-owned unit.

All employees of the JV and the YXY technology will also be transferred to Avantium, enabling the company to explore new avenues to commercialise the technology.