• Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone

French Oilseed Group Invests $79M in Rapeseed Joint Venture

Under its efforts to find new markets for oilseed crops and products, French oilseed group, Avril, has invested $79 million into Evertree - a joint venture with Israel-based Biopolymer Technologies and investment bank BPI.

Avril earns approximately €6 billion per year producing rapeseed-based biodiesel, however, the farmer-owned group is looking to expand its activity through the production of a rapeseed resin ingredient that can replace traditional chemicals such as formaldehyde used by the wood paneling and furniture industries.

The project uses rapeseed meal to create an additive that reduces the amount of resin needed in wood panel production by between 20% and 30%. Currently, resin accounts for up to 60% of the production cost for wood panels.

Evertree will be conducting tests with wood panel companies, and plans to launch a pilot within this year with the eventual goal of production 50,000 tons of bio-sourced chemicals per year by 2022.

Initial prices are expected to be between two and seven euro per kilo, with targeted turnover of €200 million when at full capacity according to CEO, Fabrice Garrigue.

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