We closed a new funding round today, raising €14 million to produce a biopolymer with the advantages of plastic but not the disadvantages. Among the investors are impact investor Invest-NL and the NOM. Part of this investment round also includes a grant from Energiefonds Drenthe.
Over a decade ago, in collaboration with Delft University of Technology, the development of this biopolymer from wastewater started within the Paques company in Balk. Three years ago, the technology was transferred to Paques Biomaterials. The capital raised in this funding round will allow us to scale up by building a Caleyda Extraction Facility in Emmen, where raw PHA will be extracted into a high-quality biopolymer branded Caleyda®. Caleyda® can be used for a wide range of applications, mainly because the product is 100% biodegradable in any natural environment without leaving behind harmful microplastics.
Over the past three years, the technology behind the product Caleyda®, in which bacteria in organic waste streams produce the biopolymer PHA, has been further developed. We have extensively tested our technology at the laboratory and pilot scale, and in 2022, in cooperation with five Dutch water boards and waste and energy company HVC, we built a demo plant in Dordrecht. The company also started several collaborations in 2023, such as with Kolon Industries in South Korea, circular side stream company Looop in Venlo, and Senbis Polymer Innovations in Emmen, to improve the technology further.
Joost Paques, co-founder and CEO of Paques Biomaterials:
“It’s good to see the confidence investors have in our technology. They give us the opportunity to scale up and take the next step in creating a new, circular chain where we produce a natural alternative to plastic from organic side streams. This funding round still allows new investors who want to invest in a future with sustainable materials to step in.”
Sytze Hellinga, investment manager of NOM:
“We have come to know the founders, Joost Paques and René Rozendal, as driven, knowledgeable and determined to make this technology a success. We, too, see great potential for PHA and, therefore, see a role for us now in co-financing this next step. This will bring us closer to a natural alternative to plastic.”
Emma den Held, investment manager at Invest-NL:
“Our investment in this promising alternative to fossil plastics shows our confidence in the power of innovation. Paques Biomaterials’ solution is fully circular and prevents harmful microplastics. With a patented technology, a large potential market scope and a strong management team, we are convinced that we are making an important contribution towards a circular economy with our investment.”
Part of this investment round also includes a grant from Energiefonds Drenthe. “Energiefonds Drenthe has been very flexible and accommodating about how this grant could work best for us”, says Joost Paques. It offers us maximum flexibility, now and in the future.”
Growth from 100,000 tonnes in 2023 to 1 million tonnes in 2028
In the future, we will build a full-scale extraction plant where the promising biopolymer PHA will be produced on a large scale (6 million kg per year). The potential for PHA is enormous. According to European Bioplastics, global demand for PHA will grow exponentially in the coming years. The global bioplastics market is estimated to grow from 2.18 million tonnes in 2023 to 7.43 million tonnes in 2028. Specifically, for PHA, it represents growth from 100,000 tonnes in 2023 to 1 million tonnes in 2028 (check source). Our goal is to obtain a significant market share in this.