Towell Engineering Group (Oman) and GFBiochemicals (Europe) announced the formation of a Joint Venture for the production and marketing of biochemicals using GFBiochemicals proprietary technology.
The aim of the Joint Venture Company, NXTLEVVEL Biochem (www.nxtlevvel.com) headquartered in Geleen, the Netherlands, is to build a leading position in bio-solvents and bio-plasticizers based on levulinic acid. Levulinic acid is considered a key bio-based building block enabling a wide portfolio of derivatives. The GFBiochemicals technology is the first that enables cost effective production of levulinate derivatives at industrial scale. The technology has been developed for more than 10 years and the company has more than 200 global patents to its credit. Combined with the robust pathbreaking technology from GF Biochemicals and Towell Engineering Group’s proven excellence in the field of engineering, construction & project management in addition to their financial strength, NXTLEVVEL Biochem BV is poised to become a global player in the industry.
Levulinate solvents have excellent solvency power. Target markets are industrial cleaning, home and personal care, but also coatings and agriculture. There are strong drivers in these markets to make a shift to biobased chemicals, for example poor safety of incumbents, customers requiring green, more stringent regulations and the desire to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
After reaching economy of scale, the bio-plasticizer market will also be addressed. Levulinate based plasticizers offer superior performance in biopolymers, like PLA as well as in fast fusers for PVC applications.
Aris de Rijke, who joined GFBiochemicals in 2014 after a career at Shell and DSM, will act as Chief Executive Officer of NXTLEVVEL Biochem. Steve Block, former executive of Elevance Renewable Sciences, will be the Vice President of Business Development, Sales & Marketing. Rudy Parton, who has devoted most of his professional life to the development of biomass to levulinic acid and its derivatives technologies, will be the Chief Scientific Officer.
“With NXTLEVVEL we believe that we have an exciting opportunity to make a difference and provide a better option for end-users. We are also addressing the burning need for preventing environmental damage and the need to “go green” in our lives. Towell Engineering with its multifaceted engineering & management capabilities and decades of success, combined with GF Biochemical’s technology is the ideal mix of resources to deliver high performance solutions to the market” says Mr. Balaji Srinivasan- Founder, Group CEO and Managing Director of Towell Engineering who is also the Managing Director of NXTLEVVEL Biochem BV.
“Biobased chemicals are essential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and will play a critical role in reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. We have founded GFBiochemicals in 2008, based on the conviction that levulinic acid is one of the important biobased building blocks of the future and that winning technology can make a difference. We have spent 12 years in technology development of levulinic acid and its derivatives and we are now ready to go commercial. The expertise of partner, Towell Engineering, in Engineering, Procuring and Constructing large manufacturing plants is complementary to GFBiochemicals technology expertise and our knowledge about the biochemicals market” says Mathieu Flamini, co-owner of GFBiochemicals and Board member of NXTLEVVEL Biochem BV.
Towell Engineering Group is the flagship business unit of the W.J.Towell group of companies based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Towell Engineering is involved in Engineering & Construction business in the sectors of Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, and Power Generation, Industrial projects, Commercial / Residential projects and Steel Fabrication. The group has extensive capabilities in EPC and construction projects, Operation & Maintenance Services, Manufacturing & Fabrication, Electrical Transmission & Distribution projects, and has earned a reputation of a market leader delivering projects on or ahead of schedule. The group has an impeccable Safety record with more than 20 million manhours without LTI till date, and presently has operations covering Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and India. Towell Engineering Group was founded in 2000 by Mr Balaji Srinivasan- the founder, Group CEO and Managing Director with the objective of setting up Engineering & Construction business, and has within a span of 20 years become one of the largest companies in Engineering & Construction market in Oman.
GF Biochemicals, headquartered in Geleen, the Netherlands, was founded in 2008 by Pasquale Granata and Mathieu Flamini with the aim to develop and commercialize levulinic acid by technology innovation. GFBiochemicals has developed a breakthrough technology to convert lignocellulosic biomass into levulinic acid. After the downstream acquisition of Segetis in 2016, the focus has shifted to bring the derivatives of levulinic acid to the market. GFBiochemicals has a large and global IP-portfolio on levulinic acid and its derivatives. The technology is feedstock flexible and enables cost competitive production. The levulinate bio-solvents are safe and sustainable replacements and offer excellent performance in various applications, such as industrial cleaning, home and personal care, coatings and agro-solvents.