Through its subsidiary NextChem Holding, Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. has acquired a majority interest in Conser, a technology licensor and process engineering design company based in Rome, Italy.
Upon closing, NextChem Holding will hold 83.5% of the shares in Conser and, under the terms of the agreement, also has an option to retain the remaining 16.5% within the next 3 years.
The closing, which is subject to customary conditions, is expected to take place by April 15, 2023. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The transaction is a strategic one, enabling Maire Tecnimont to expand into the market for bio-based technologies and products. Conser has a portfolio of patented technologies for maleic anhydride, butanediol and dimethyl succinate, the building blocks for producing biodegradable plastics such as polybutylene succinate (PBS) and polybutylene adipate co-terephthalate (PBAT).
PBS and PBAT have excellent biodegradation properties, and their relevant consolidated markets show very promising outlooks driven by a growing demand, especially in Asia, where Conser has licensed more than half of the plants in the region in the last year for several leading global players.
Conser’s portfolio also includes technologies for liquid organic hydrogen carriers, specialties for lithium-based batteries production and bio-based (vegetable glycerine) derivatives.
“This important step enables Maire Tecnimont Group to expand its technology portfolio in the sustainable chemicals area,” said Alessandro Bernini, CEO of the Maire Tecnimont Group. “We will integrate our value proposition as a licensor and a technology-driven energy services provider with new innovative solutions to support global markets in the progressive shift towards a more sustainable economy.”
In further news, Maire Tecnimont also announced that NextChem S.p.A. had signed an agreement with Biorenova S.p.A. to buy, scale up and industrialise that company’s proprietary continuous chemical recycling process. Called CatC technology, it enables high-purity monomers to be recovered from sorted plastic waste - in particular, PMMA.
Tests using waste PMMA have demonstrated a methyl methacrylate (MMA) production efficiency of about 95% of the weight of the input material, and tests conducted by the Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and Economics (DIIIE) of the University of L'Aquila have certified the high quality of the monomer produced.
NextChem intends to scale up these PMMA activities, while progressively expanding its application to other value-added plastics, as this technology could also be suitable for the depolymerisation of polystyrene, a largely used plastic with numerous industrial applications from food packaging to electronics and automotive, amongst others. Once scaled up, CatC would provide a cost-effective, competitive alternative to other existing depolymerisation technologies for PMMA, as the obtained monomers can be used directly without any further treatment.
NextChem will hold a 51% stake in a new company (NewCo) which will own the CatC technology. Biorenova will maintain the remaining 49%. Closing is expected to take place by 30 April 2023, subject to customary conditions.