Technological watch

Novamont announces expanded production Mater-Bi to 150,000 Tonnes  

Novamont (Hall 6, A58) is expanding its Mater-Bi production capacity by 40,000 tonnes, bringing this to a total of 150,000 tonnes a year, the company announced a K 2019. While production of its Mater-Bi resin has been well-established at its Terni site, the Novamont group has now launched production in Patrica, in the province of Frosinone, as well.

The expansion is in response to the strong growth in demand for biodegradable and compostable products.

Currently, the company produces Origo-Bi in Patrica: the biopolyesters of renewable origin that are components of Mater-Bi.
As well as improving production efficiency and providing a rapid response to market demands, expansion of the Patrica site will also enable the group to diversify its production sites and ensure an ever greater range of products for different applications with an increasingly high content of renewable materials.

The Mater-Biopolymer plant in Patrica, which directly employs 90 people, was built following redevelopment of the former Mossi & Ghisolfi PET plant and cost over 100 million euros in investment. Producing an annual 100,000 tonnes of Origo-Bi, the new process has allowed the site to cut volumes by half compared to the previous "traditional" type of production, and to obtain products that have higher value and greater specificity.

Mater–Biopolymer is a highly efficient plant, at the same time satisfying quality, environmental and safety requirements. Its complex system of utilities minimise costs and waste through the recovery and reuse of waste, in terms of the circular economy and sustainability.

"Start-up of Mater-bi production in the Mater-Biopolymer plant is a major achievement for our group and is the result of all the work we have carried out in recent years in innovating and industrialising our technologies," declared Catia Bastioli, managing director of Novamont. "This further step forward, just one year after inauguration of the second biopolyester production line, consolidates our model for local area regeneration and our integrated bioeconomy supply chain, which is based on new plants in deindustrialised sites, a wide range of bio-based products designed to safeguard soil and water, and behind which we have an important network of collaborations and interactions".

Novamont also announced it was entering into a technological partnership for with Saes Group, aimed at developing solutions to meet the growing demand for materials with lower environmental impact and very high functional performance.
After intensive joint research and development based on each of the companies’ know-how in the fields of biodegradable materials and functional materials respectively, Novamont and Saes Group unveiled a range of compostable solutions that are UNI EN 13432 standard compliant. Intended for use in a wide variety of applications, including food packaging, the new solutions provide gas and water vapour permeability comparable to that of traditional packaging and can be recycled at their end-of-life together with organic waste in industrial composting plants.

Produced using raw materials of plant origin, the packaging solutions developed by Novamont and Saes Group in collaboration with leading Italian manufacturers of flexible packaging are ideal alternatives to the multi-layer packaging that is not recyclable or is contaminated with food residues.

On display at K 2019
At this year’s K fair, the company is presenting new Mater-Bi grades for fruit and vegetable bags with increased renewable material content and for compostable 5-layer barrier film
Novamont. With a renewable content of over 50%, the new grade
meets both the industrial and domestic requirements required by Italian, French and Austrian market regulations. And thanks to a collaboration with Novamont's German partner Reifenhäuser now lasting numerous years, during the fair it will be possible to visit Reifenhäuser’s Troisdorf site, just a short drive from Dusseldorf, and directly witness extrusion tests on Mater-Bi fruit and vegetable bags. Customers will thus be able to see for themselves that the new Mater-Bi solution, with an increased percentage of renewable material content, can be used to produce film for high-quality bags with excellent mechanical strength and good transparency. Also at the Troisdorf site of its partner Reifenhäuser, it will be possible for customers to observe the extrusion test on a 5-layer compostable film with barrier properties. This is an absolute first for the compostable food packaging sector, making it possible to combine compostability and gas barrier properties.


Publication date: 21/10/2019

Bioplastics magazine (News)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.