Thailand for second Afyren plant
French greentech firm Afyren has signed a deal with Thailand’s Mitr Phol, the world’s third largest sugar producer, under which they will form a 70-30 joint venture to build a biorefinery at the latter’s site near Bangkok. This is Afyren’s first project outside France and follows on from a recent IPO.
The new facility will make biobased organic acids from local biomass by-products, notably sugarcane, with a target capacity of 28,000 tonnes/year, for the Thai and wider regional markets. These acids are used as preservatives or natural flavourings in food and in animal feed products, among other things.
The accord is expected to be finalised mid-2023, subject to final agreement by the parties on final terms. It will create about 80 direct and 280 indirect jobs. Production start-up is expected by 2025, with the timetable to be specified at the end of the engineering studies scheduled for mid-2023.
Separately, Afyren has signed a partnership with its compatriot Cearitis, a “sustainable agriculture start-up”, to develop a biocontrol device to protect orchards. This will use the Push&Pull biocontrol system the two co-developed as an environmentally friendly alternative to the chemical insecticides mainly uses to control pests on tree crops, such as olives, cherries, red fruit, almonds and citrus fruit.
Push&Pull uses a repellent, which is sprayed on the orchard to act as a natural barrier to targeted pests. It is non-toxic for orchardists and approved for use in organic agriculture. Following three years of field tests, a marketing authorisation is expected soon and first commercial production is planned for this year.